Cover Crop Partnerships

SOIL HEALTH INCENTIVES MADE SIMPLE

Ducks Unlimited (DU) has partnered with Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM) and Farmers Business Network (FBN) to promote sustainable agricultural practices that incentivize producers in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio to implement 320,000 acres of cover crops across the three states. Over the next year, DU will work with private landowners to enroll acres into cover crop contracts. In return, landowners receive a $10 to $25/per acre incentive payment. 

Cover crops are a crucial conservation tool that have only been implemented on 6% of the cultivated land in the north-central U.S. They benefit soil health, slow erosion, sequester carbon, which reduces atmospheric greenhouse gases, and provide cleaner water by filtering nutrients from run-off. Nutrient run-off has been linked to harmful algal blooms (HABs) in the Great Lakes, and the oxygen-depleted gulf hypoxia regions in the Gulf of Mexico. HABs can make drinking water unsafe for human consumption, and impossible for aquatic life to survive (hypoxia or "oxygen depletion" has the same affect). 

The primary focus of this historic conservation effort is the protection of Saginaw Bay and St. Joseph River watersheds, as well as the western Lake Erie Basin. DU will be responsible for administering the cover crop program, working with producers to develop sustainable on-farm practices that fit their needs and are economically beneficial. 

Enrollment

Cover Crop Partnership map of Indiana, Michigan, & Ohio

For more information, contact:
Colleen Gleason
Tri-State Biologist, Ducks Unlimited
734-649-1245
cgleason@ducks.org

Kylie McElrath
Regional Biologist, Ducks Unlimited
734-277-8092
kmcelrath@ducks.org

Cover Crop Partnership Goals

Timeline/Process

  1. Inquire about Ducks Unlimited Midwest Cover Crop Initiative program
  2. Consultation with Ducks Unlimited or approved representative
  3. Receive and sign ADM 1-year contract
  4. FBN onboarding & data
  5. Plant covers
  6. Closing survey and final data requested
  7. $10-25/ acre payments made annually

DU 2023 Cover Crop enrollment timeline

Eligibility

State Practice Compensation Requirements
INDIANA   Cover Crop $25/acre Must provide FSA documents and FSA subsidiary print and will be shared with NRCS/USDA. Cannot be paid for cover crop on the same acres by federally funded programs like EQIP/CSP/RCPP. Has to be new practice or expanded practice. Must have wheat, corn, or soybeans in rotation.
  Cover Crop $15/acre Must provide FSA documents and FSA subsidiary print and will be shared with NRCS/USDA. Cannot be paid for cover crop on the same acres by federally funded programs like EQIP/CSP/RCPP. Acres could not have cover crop prior to 2018. Must have wheat, corn, or soybeans in rotation.
  Plant a cover crop $10/acre Plant a cover crop no later than NRCS accepted date. Previous cover crop practice allowed on field. Can be in other federally funded program. Must have wheat, corn, or soybeans in rotation.
OHIO Cover Crop $25/acre Must provide FSA documents and FSA subsidiary print and will be shared with NRCS/USDA. Cannot be paid for cover crop on the same acres by federally funded programs like EQIP/CSP/RCPP. Has to be new practice or expanded practice. Must have wheat, corn, or soybeans in rotation.
  Cover Crop $15/acre Must provide FSA documents and FSA subsidiary print and will be shared with NRCS/USDA. Cannot be paid for cover crop on the same acres by federally funded programs like EQIP/CSP/RCPP. Acres could not have cover crop prior to 2018. Must have wheat, corn, or soybeans in rotation.
MICHIGAN   No available acres  

 

 

State Practice Compensation Requirements
IN/OH/MI   No-Till or Strip Till  $2/acre Only applicable on wheat fields planted in 2022. Can be in other federally funded programs.
  Living Root $3/acre Only applicable on wheat fields planted in 2022. Not stackable with cover crop payments above. Have a living root established on field year round. (Double cropped soybeans after wheat, cover crop that is harvested)
  Nitrogen Balance $10/acre Only applicable on wheat fields planted in 2022. Stackable with all payments above. Nitrogen levels must fall within N-Defense safe zone. Scan QR code for more info.

Producer Commitments

 

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