Indianapolis, IN, July 31, 2019 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is offering a special Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) sign-up in the northeast part of the state through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). This sign up is for farmers in Indiana’s Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) area who could not plant crops in portions of Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Wells, Noble and Steuben counties because of flooded or wet fields.
GLRI provides funding to assist landowners in addressing critical resource concerns by installing conservation practices in targeted watersheds throughout the Great Lakes region. This sign-up provides technical and financial assistance to help farmers plant cover crops as an alternative to allowing fields to go fallow and uncovered. The deadline to apply is August 9, 2019 with additional signups contingent on available funds.
Excessive moisture and flooding in 2019 prevented or delayed planting on many farms in the basin area. Fields that are saturated for extended periods can lose important soil organisms. Unplanted fields without vegetative cover are more prone to soil erosion and nutrient loss that can increase pollution of nearby lakes and streams.
“We are excited to receive this additional funding to provide assistance to help reduce sediment and nutrient runoff in Indiana’s portion of the WLEB,” said Jerry Raynor, NRCS State Conservationist. “Planting cover crops will help farmers in this area manage soil erosion, weeds and pests and can help fields recover quicker by improving soil health.”
Farmers with prevented planting coverage through USDA Risk Management Agency crop insurance can hay, graze, or chop a cover crop. USDA also offers a disaster assistance discovery tool (https://www.farmers.gov/recover/disaster-assistance-tool#step-1) that walks producers through five questions to help them identify which disaster assistance programs meets their needs. Contact your local USDA service center or visit farmers.gov/prevented-planting for more information