March 9, 2016
(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) – The Missouri Department of Agriculture has announced it will receive $2.4 million to expand the use of no-till and cover crops in Missouri as part of USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The funds will be used to assist Missouri farmers and ranchers plant 20,000 acres in cover crops annually.
“Missouri’s farmers and ranchers continue to be on the forefront of best-practices for protecting our soil and water, because they know that the sustainability of our natural resources is important to the future of agriculture,” Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce said. “This program funding will help the Missouri Department of Agriculture work with local landowners to plant thousands of acres of cover crops, which are proven to reduce soil erosion and improve soil health.”
The state project, titled “Cover Crops for Soil Health and Water Quality” will expand the understanding of soil conservation by encouraging producers to consider land management practices that address both soil health and water quality resource concerns. This project will help expand the use of cover crops and no-till management throughout the state. With help from partner agencies, the department has established a goal of 20,000 acres planted in cover crops annually on acreage that qualify as highly erodible and/or have organic matter content less than 2 percent. Cost-share funding for cover crops, a demonstration farm, demonstration plots, Missouri Soybean Growers Bay Farm, NRCS Cover Crop Economics tool, Missouri Nutrient Tracking Tool and Revised Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE 2) calculations will be used to help producers understand the importance of and proper implementation of cover crops to foster successful experiences and encourage wide-spread adoption among fellow producers.
For more information regarding the Department of Agriculture’s efforts, visit agriculture.mo.gov.