Weather Alert

USDA Announces Cover Crop Funds for Two Michigan Watersheds

Michigan farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin and Saginaw Bay watersheds are eligible to apply for $3.2 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture financial assistance for adopting cover crops. Producers with at least a portion of their operations in one of the two watersheds may submit applications by Dec. 13, 2021 to be considered for selection.

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is encouraging producers to adopt cover crops as a way to protect water quality and reduce soil erosion in the two priority watersheds. The adoption of cover crops has other conservation benefits including improving soil quality, suppressing weeds, and providing wildlife habitat. Producers can apply for assistance to plant a single-species or a more diverse multi species cover crop.

Funding will be provided through the USDA Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Successful applicants will enter into contracts to plant cover crops for a pre-determined amount of financial assistance. Payments are typically provided after the cover crop is established, however some producers may be eligible for advance payments.

Interested producers can contact their local USDA Service Center for more information. Applications may be submitted at USDA Service Centers or online using the Farmers.gov portal.