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News Release

NRCS Alabama Announces Soil Quality Sign-Up

Amelia Dortch

Release No.: 0000021.17

Funding Provided Through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program

AUBURN, July 28, 2017 – USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist for Alabama Ben Malone announced that the agency is providing funding to help landowners improve soil quality through a Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project. This is the result of as partnership between NRCS and the Alabama Soil and Water Conservation Committee. In addition, this collaborative effort will involve the assistance of local soil and water conservation districts to implement the program. Eligible landowners in Colbert, Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone and Madison Counties are encouraged to apply by August 28, 2017.

RCPP Soil Quality MapThe RCPP project will focus on increasing soil heath through planting cover crops. Alabama has over 1 million acres of cropland with soil organic matter lower than 1.25% and more than 375,000 acres with soil organic matter less than 1%. Trends show very little increase in organic matter, especially where conventional tillage and cover crops were not used.

Through this project, a combination of no-till and cover crops will increase organic matter and increase production that is necessary to feed the growing population of the world.

Funding will address conservation tillage and planting a minimum mixture of 3 cover crop species such as cereal ryes, legumes, and brassicas.

“This project will encourage landowners to diversify cover crop systems and improve soil health on their land by increasing organic matter. We hope that in the next two to three years, they will notice the undeniable benefits of cover crops,” said State Conservationist Ben Malone.

Alabama landowners who are interested in applying for funding should contact their local USDA service center or read the Alabama RCPP-Soil Quality Project Fact Sheet to learn more.


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