This last summer was the third year I planted a cover crop on a field after the peas were harvested. It was nice to see something growing in the field to protect the soil rather than the soil being bare through the later part of the summer and all winter. I guess a missed an opportunity by not being aware that there are cost share funds available through County Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) to plant a cover crop.

Rice County SWCD District Manager Steve Pahs called me and asked if I would help get the message out to farmers about the cost share funds. So, apparently I was not the only farmer that did not know! Steve said in Rice County there is a $30 an acre payment for planting one species and $35 for two or more species of cover crops up to a maximum of 80 acres. In addition the Rice County SWCD offers custom interseeding cover crops.

Steve said that almost all County SWCD's have some type of cost share program for planting cover crops. If you are planning on planting cover crops next year be sure to check with your SWCD soon. They are already taking applications for the 2020 growing season! Each County SWCD's cover crop cost share program is determined by the District Supervisors so each is a little different.

In the picture is my cover crops of oats and radishes after the anhydrous ammonia was applied with a chisel plow. I know my friends at the SWCD are not pleased  that I tilled the field. But there is still a lot of residue on the surface to protect the soil this winter and spring!