Cover Crop Funding Targeted for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed in Sussex County, Delaware

Special funding is now available for Sussex County, Delaware farmers located in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed to plant cover crops. This effort focuses on improving water quality and soil health by targeting additional financial assistance in the watershed. The additional acres planted will help Delaware meet its Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) and achieve the goals and milestones of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) through the uptake of excess nutrients and improved soil health.

Approximately $528,000 is available over the next two years to help Sussex County landowners implement cover crops in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Additional Chesapeake Bay Program funds from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) will allow an additional incentive of $25 per acre for farmers using winter cereal rye or a cereal rye mix. Landowners are encouraged to apply by April 15.

Interested applicants must meet eligibility requirements of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), which is administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). NRCS accepts applications year round; however, all applications received by the first application deadline of April 15 will be ranked and considered for funding.

This special funding is possible as part of the Accelerating Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plans (WIP) project, which was selected as part of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) also administered by NRCS. The project is led by the Maryland Department of Agriculture who partnered with DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship and the Sussex Conservation District. The goal of this project is to increase the implementation of cover crops in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

RCPP promotes coordination between the USDA NRCS and its partners to deliver conservation assistance to producers and landowners. The Accelerating Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plans (WIP) is a 2015 RCPP project that bring additional resources to Sussex County.

To sign up for this project or for more information, contact the USDA Service Center at 302-856-3990 ext. 3, or visit in-person at 21315 Berlin Road, Unit 4, Georgetown, Delaware; or go online to www.de.nrcs.usda.gov. Delaware NRCS works with the Delaware Conservation Districts to address resource concerns on privately-owned agricultural and forest lands.

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