The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is leading a state-wide effort to enhance the adoption of soil health management through the Advanced Cover Crop Initiative. Landowners interested in applying for funding to establish cover crops should submit their application at their local NRCS office by April 19.

According to NRCS, the purpose of this initiative is to provide funding to producers to plant cover crops to improve soil health. Participating landowners will be required to plant cover crops for a total of five years on the same acres and share what they’ve learned.

NRCS Soil Health Specialist Aaron Hird said, “We know cover crops are effective in building soil structure and reducing erosion. But we also know it can seem risky to try new conservation practices. This initiative financially supports farmers trying a new management system and will contribute to building a community of experienced cover crop users who can then share their knowledge and experiences with their neighbors.”

Producers participating in this initiative will have the option to conduct strip trials of various cover crop management strategies. Producers will receive funding assistance to demonstrate soil health management by planting cover crops. NRCS and involved partners will facilitate using these projects for public field days and the development of case studies showcasing the changes observed. 

NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) will be used to fund this initiative. Producers selected will receive this EQIP funding to plant cover crops for 5 years. 

For more information on the Advanced Cover Crop Initiative, visit NRCS at the USDA Service Center or