Cover crop planting deadline extended to November 1 for state cost share programs

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey recently announced that farmers participating in the state cost share programs that are intending to plant cover crops have until November 1, 2014 to get the cover crops planted and still qualify for assistance.
This extension is only available for winter-hardy, small grains that are likely to establish yet this fall, specifically winter rye, winter triticale and winter wheat.  Other species such as oats, radishes, turnips and legumes are not likely to provide the desired growth to be effective this late in the season. There are an estimated 108,000 acres of cover crops supported by state cost share programs.
“Everything has been behind this year due to delayed planting, cool temperatures and the wet fall, so some farmers have been unable to get cover crops planted as timely as they had anticipated,” Northey said. “Based on the research available in Iowa, November first is still a reasonable date to get certain species of cover crops seeded. It may be necessary for farmers to work with their seed vendor to alter the mix they had planned to use.”
The recommended cutoff date for seeding cover crops in Iowa previously was October 15. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, in consultation with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), decided the date could be extended. Guidance from Iowa State University confirmed cover crops planted after this date still have the potential to provide substantial reduction in nutrient losses and soil erosion, so the Department extended the deadline until November 1.
Farmers who had been approved for cost share assistance and are still unable to get cover crops seeded are advised to contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District office.