Cover Crop Incentives Are Gobbled Up Fast

Within a brief period of time, no-tillers and other farmers within four counties in designated watersheds on Maryland’s Western Shore applied for more than $350,000 of cost-sharing for seeding cover crops this fall.

Funded by a special grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to Maryland’s Department of Agriculture, the cover crop incentive was available for farmers who grew corn, soybeans or vegetables this year. The goal is to use winter cover crops to take up residual nitrogen in the soil, prevent soil erosion and protect water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

No-tillers who seed rye, wheat, triticale or oats this fall are eligible for cost-share funding of up to $25 per acre. They can receive $20 an acre for no-tilling barley.


  • Errick Willis, vice president for ICF Consulting in Toronto, Ontario, indicates that large corporations that emit pollutants have estimated the value of carbon dioxide credits at $5 per ton until the year 2010 and $20 per ton 9 years from now.
  • Out of 17 percent of all corn acres no-tilled in Illinois last year, University of Illinois natural resources educator Bob Frazee estimates that only 1 percent was involved in strip-till situations.
  • Aventis CropScience expects to have a new post-emergence herbicide called Option available for no-till corn growers by next March. Growers who use a half rate of Balance Pro with atrazine and follow later in the growing season with Option can expect good control of grassy annuals and perennials and suppression…
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