Grant funds available for cover crops

The Dubois County Soil and Water Conservation District supervisors have announced the availability of cost share funds for sowing cover crops in the fall of 2020.

The Southwest Indiana Conservation Alliance, a partnership of 23 SWCDs across southwest Indiana, are working together to provide the funds to local farmers and landowners. The funds are limited, so early applications are encouraged. The deadline to apply is Aug. 31.

The cost share will be offered at the rate of $20 per acre, up to 100 acres per individual or entity. For cover crops applied in an urban area, anything one acre or less will receive $20. Applications will be ranked for funding. Criteria for ranking include whether the ground has been determined to be highly erodible, if the landowner has used cover crops in the past, and if they have attended a soil health event within the past year. In the event of ties, the date the application is submitted will determine funding availability.

The cover crops must be applied by no-till practices, broadcasting or aerial application. The cover crop must meet USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service specifications and are not to be harvested for forage. Applicant will be responsible for making all arrangements for the planting of the cover crop. For more details, or an application form, contact the SWCD at 812-482-1171, ext. 3, or e-mail to

This cover crop project will provide many benefits to Dubois County, including:

• Increased organic matter and nitrogen in the soil, and the improvement of overall soil health by adding living roots to the soil during more months of the year.

• Improved water infiltration into the soil.

• Protection of the soil from erosive heavy rains and strong winds.

• Winter food and cover for birds and other wildlife, and food for pollinators if used in the growing season.

• Cash benefits for local landowners.

A Soil Health Expo is being planned for Thursday, Aug. 27, in Princeton. Attendance at the expo will earn program participants one point towards their application ranking.

The cover crop payment program is made possible by funds provided by the Dubois County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Southwest Conservation Alliance, and a Clean Water Indiana grant provided through the Indiana State Department of Agriculture’s Division of Soil Conservation.

For more information, contact the SWCD office at 482-1171, ext. 3.

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