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Planting cover crops has proven to be a popular and effective practice among today's farming population.
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According to a news release, the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently held a special sign-up to encourage landowners to plant cover crops and received a large response, further displaying the growing interest in cover crop planting among area farmers.
The NRCS had originally set aside $750,000 for the spring signup, but after more than 500 people applied, the group has devoted an additional $778,000 to the initiative and is seeking avenues for even further financial support.
Jimmy Bramblett, State Conservationist for NRCS in Wisconsin, said about the surging interest in the release, “We had an absolutely overwhelming response to the special pilot cover crop signup. Farmers are rapidly moving to try cover crops to start re-building the health of the soil. We are excited to see so many farmers interested in pursuing the health and sustainability of our farm land.”
As highlighted in a previous article, planting cover crops in rotation between cash crops can raise levels of carbon and nitrogen in soils, prevent erosion, develop beneficial soil fungus, and suppress harmful weeds.
Bramblett says the NRCS will hold another cover crop sign-up next spring, as it allows farmers time to assess any unplanted acres, crop loss, or weather damage that the planting of cover crops could address. Farmers interested in planning ahead to schedule cover crops for next year can submit an application for consideration during the general signup.
The amount of interest shown at the NRCS’ special sign-up to plant cover crops is a microcosm of the broader American farming population which seems to be recognizing the benefits to the crop-production process.