By Janet Kubat Willette
Rural Advantage is looking for producers interested in experimenting with cover crops.
Jill Sackett, Extension educator and conservation agronomist with University of Minnesota Extension and Rural Advantage, spoke about the cover crop project at Wheat Day June 23 in Kilkenny.
Rural Advantage is partnering with Practical Farmers of Iowa to encourage producers to plant cover crops. The two organizations received a grant through the North Central region of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program.
The cover crop must be a non-cash crop, but it can be grazed, Sackett said.
The grant began last fall and is active through fall 2012. Producers can be compensated for one year and must be willing host a field day and do research. They must also keep records of their project.
The goal is to sign up 20 producers over the four years or about seven producers per year. Ideally, the funders would like one producer per county, Sackett said.
The incentive is up to $20 per acre for up to 20 acres. There may also a bonus to offset the cost of doing on-farm research.
Corn silage, small grains and canning crops are the optimum choices for cover crops, Sackett said.
The grant is available statewide.
For more information, telephone Sackett at 507-238-5449 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Iowa, telephone Sarah Carlson at Practical Farmers of Iowa at 515-232-5661 or email email@example.com.
For more information on this SARE project, visit the SARE project website at http://www.sare.org/MySARE/ProjectReport.aspx?do=viewProj&pn=LNC09-313