GEORGETOWN, Del. — Additional cover crop funding, totaling over $500,000 is available for the Delaware Bay and Inland Bays watersheds of Sussex County.
Protecting the Delaware Bay and Inland Bays with Cover Crops is a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project focused on improving water quality through soil health. The Sussex Conservation District (SCD) leads the project with local partners the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and the Delaware Department of Agriculture – Nutrient Management Program.
“We are proud to work with partners and provide funding for farmers to plant cover crops,” said Debbie Absher, SCD director of agricultural programs. “Cover crops improve soil health and water quality because of their ability to scavenge excess nutrients in the soil and increase organic matter.”
“This RCPP project is a win-win for farmers, it brings valuable resources into Sussex County to enhance the producer’s operation and improve overall water quality,” said David Baird, SCD district coordinator.
The application deadline is Friday, March 24, 2023. All applications received by the deadline will be ranked and considered for funding in Summer 2023.
The starting rate per acre is $65.50 for single-species cover crops and $80.93 for multi-species, with higher funding rates for historically underserved farmers including beginning, limited resource, socially disadvantaged, military veterans and those located in source water protection areas.
For more information on eligibility or to complete an application, call the Sussex County USDA Service Center at 302-856-3990, ext. 3.
RCPP promotes coordination between the USDA NRCS and its partners to address resource concerns on privately-owned agricultural and forest lands. To learn more about Delaware NRCS, visit www.de.nrcs.usda.gov. To learn more about SCD, visit www.sussexconservation.org.
–Siobhan Kelley, Sussex County Conservation District