The following is a press release from the MT NRCS.
Montana agricultural producers have until June 24, 2011, to sign up for financial assistance offered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to plant cover crops in areas where wet conditions have prevented them from planting spring crops.
Instead of leaving fields bare, producers can enroll acres in the Soil Health, Erosion, and Weed Prevention Special Initiative to plant cover crops to reduce the probability of erosion, increase soil health, provide cover and food for many wildlife species, and provide forage for livestock.
Land targeted for this initiative includes cropland and hay land that could have or would have been planted to a crop, but were not due to weather-caused delays.
A minimum of four species are required and will be determined by the NRCS field office for each planting based on individual needs. No cool season annual grasses will be allowed in the mix. Aerial seeding will be allowed if fields are too wet for ground equipment, although the seeding application rate must be at least 1.5 times greater than the standard rate.
A producer can terminate the stand before seed set to avoid future undesired vegetation. A cover crop cannot be grazed more than 50 percent and a minimum of six-inch stubble height must remain after grazing.
Producers interested in applying for the special initiative funding must submit applications through their local NRCS Service Center, which can be located through the Montana NRCS Web site at www.mt.nrcs.usda.gov/contact/offices/index.html.
Source: MT NRCS
Posted by Haylie Shipp