Cost-share funding of up to $30 per acre per year for three years is available through the Cheney Lake Water Quality Project to establish cover crops on no-till fields. Fields that already have cover crops in the crop rotation are not eligible for enrollment. The first round of applications will be accepted in the Cheney Lake Watershed office at 18 E. Seventh Ave. in South Hutchinson until Friday. Additional applications will be taken if all funding is not committed in the first round.
Fields must be planted to a mix of no less than three species and they must be located within the priority areas of the Cheney Lake Watershed. The priority area includes the land that drains to Cheney Reservoir and is roughly east of a line from Plevna to Langdon to Penalosa. Although haying is not allowed, grazing the cover crop is an option.
The purpose of this funding opportunity is to promote the use of cover crops and no-till farming for water quality and soil health. Cover-crop plantings are established in undisturbed soil with a diversity of living plants to provide root mass, soil cover, shade, and to stimulate biological activity within the soil.
For applications and additional information, call (620) 669-8161, extension 4, or visit the Cheney Lake Watershed office in the USDA Service Center in South Hutchinson.