Iowa incentive cover crops funds available

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Plymouth County farmers wanting to receive money to establish a fall cover crop may do so now according to Jim Lahn, district conservationist with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), in Le Mars.

Lahn said the Iowa incentive funding for the crop is available at $15 per acre for up to a maximum of 80 acres per producer.

He said the cover crops are as seen especially necessary on highly erodible fields (HEL) where corn was cut for silage this year and will help to provide adequate soil cover during the critical spring erosion period.

"Many HEL crop fields with steep slopes have USDA Conservation Compliance Plans which require no-till farming and the crops can be beneficial for producers desiring to retain eligibility for USDA program benefits," Lahn said.

The cover crops he added need to be planted Nov. 1 and need to be maintained until April 1.

Grazing of the cover crop is allowed during the winter, provided a minimum height of four inches is maintained.

Winter wheat or winter cereal rye are common choices for a fall cover crop drilled at a rate of 1-2 bushels per acre, Lahn said.

NRCS staff welcomes producers wanting to discuss their possible crop choices or to sign-up for the incentive funding.

They are encouraged to contact his office at 1100A 12th St., Le Mars or by calling his 712-546-8858.