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Over $1 million available for farmers to plant cover crops in Sussex County

Sussex County farmers can apply for over $1.1 millions in funding from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to plant cover crops.

Cover crops are traditionally planted in the fall following corn or beans or other cash crops that farmers normally plant.

The purpose of cover crops is to keep the soil in place and help prevent wind and water erosion; cover crops also serve as nutrient uptakes - collecting additional nitrogen and phosphorus that’s left in the ground from harvested crops so the nutrients don’t get absorbed into the groundwater.

Sussex Conservation District (SCD) district coordinator David Baird says this Natural Resources Conservation Service funding covers the next three years.

“This will add to funding that the Conservation District already receives from both NRCS and the State of Delaware. And what it does is bring additional resources into Sussex County,” said Baird.

Baird notes the additional funding assists farmers in meeting both their operational goals for their farm and the entire Ag community in helping to meet all the water quality goals here in Delaware and with the watersheds in our region.

The deadline to apply for the funding is February 5, 2021. All applications received by that deadline will be ranked and considered for funding next spring.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.