The state of Delaware and Delaware NRCS are working cooperatively to help producers reduce nutrient loadings within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed in an effort to meet the established Total Maximum Daily Loads requirements. The very popular cover crop program offered by the state of Delaware has seen a significant reduction in the amount of funds available to its producers. Cover crops play a major role in absorbing excessive nitrogen and phosphorous. This led Delaware NRCS to restructure the way it implemented cover crops under the EQIP program in an effort to complement the state program and align with the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Model to reduce nutrient loadings.
In fiscal year 2011, Delaware NRCS offered one year cover crop contracts that can either be planted early or at the standard time. Previously, Delaware only offered three year contracts, which made it difficult for producers to manage because most did not know where they were going to plant cover crops three years in advance.
Reducing Nutrients through Remediation
Delaware NRCS led the effort to provide landowners with technical and financial assistance to properly remediate abandoned poultry houses. Remediation ensures that the nutrient-rich soil floor of an unused poultry house is not subject to leaching from exposure to rainwater. If 500 abandoned poultry houses were to be remediated in Delaware alone, approximately 2.5 to 3.5 million pounds of nitrates could be prevented from reaching the Chesapeake Bay or eventually to the groundwater sources used for drinking water.
Landowner story coming soon
Poultry Farmer Saves Time, Money and Natural Resources with NRCS
It has been said not to judge a book by its cover. For Frank Robinson, it’s the name of his poultry operation that could easily be misjudged. Frank Robinson is the proud co-owner of ‘Dead Broke Farms’ along with his two adult sons, Wes and Greg. However, according to Mr. Robinson, it’s the financial incentives from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that helps ensure his poultry operation’s name stays just a little family joke.