Deadline to Seed Winter Hardy Cover Crops Extended

Written by Theresa Rose on October 16, 2015

Due to an extremely wet spring , delay in planting this past spring the Iowa and harvest in full swing Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Acting State Conservationist Richard Ellsmore with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service announced that farmers participating in state cost-share and most federal financial assistance programs now have until Nov. 1, 2015 to plant winter hardy cover crops North of Highway 20 and have until November 15 to plant winter hardy cover crops south of Highway 20 and still qualify for assistance.

The following applies to cover crops planted in the extension period (Oct. 16 – Nov. 1 North of Highway 20 and Oct 16 -November 15 South of Highway 20):
• Cover crops will be seeded as soon as possible after harvest of the principal crop.
• The cover crop to be seeded must be winter hardy (i.e. cereal rye, winter wheat, triticale).
• The cover crop will be no-till drilled in crop residue.
• Allow cover crop to add growth as long as possible in the spring prior to termination to maximize benefits. (Must be allowed to grow until at least 6 inches for those participating in federal programs)
• The extension does not apply for all federal programs. Contact your NRCS office if you have questions.

Farmers approved for cost-share assistance who are still unable to plant cover crops should contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) office.

For questions on the extension of the seeding date for State funded programs such as Iowa Financial Incentive Program (IFIP) or Water Quality Incentive (WQI) Program contact Matt Lechtenberg, Water Quality Initiative Coordinator or Vince Sitzmann, Field Service Bureau, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship (IDALS)-Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality at (515) 281-5851. For questions on the extension of the seeding date for Federal funded programs such as Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) or Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contact Barbara Stewart, State Agronomist, NRCS at (515) 323-2260.