What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
November 1: Organic Certification Cost-Share and Transition/Education Certification Program
December 4: Last Day to Return COC Ballots
December 15: Crop Reporting for Fall-Seeded Small Grains
January 31: Livestock Forage Program (LFP)

Fall 2023 Cover Crops
submitted by Eric Novey, Project Coordinator, NRCS
With harvest underway, many people are thinking about planting fall cover crops. With the summer drought, fewer people may be considering planting cover crops than normal. But with the recent rainfall, cover crops are likely to grow well this fall. One benefit of cover crops after a dry season is that they can scavenge nutrients that were not used during row crop production. There may be concerns about herbicide carryover. Smaller seeded species tend to be most sensitive to herbicides, but cereal rye is considered to be fairly tolerant.  

If you are receiving cost-share for cover crops, we are past the window for planting winter-kill species such as oats, radish, turnip, and kale. The only species left to plant are cereal rye, triticale, wheat, and camelina.  Winter wheat has a seeding deadline of October 18 and the other three should be seeded by October 31.  Rye, wheat, and triticale all have a seeding rate of 45 pounds per acre whether drilled or broadcast. Camelina has a seeding rate of 3 pounds per acre if drilled and 4 pounds per acre if broadcast. It is a cool-season broadleaf that is winter hardy and is excellent at scavenging nutrients.  Many people who are planting mixes through the CSP program have camelina and rye as their mix.  

If you are interested in planting cover crops this fall but have not yet applied for cost-share, there may still be funding through IDALS at the NRCS office. You can call the office at 563-568-2246 ext. 3 to ask about funding. It is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so it may run out soon.  If you are planning for next year, you can apply for cost-share through the Federal EQIP or RCPP programs now. The first-round application deadline for next year is November 3.