Michigan grant supports expanded cover crops

Kristin Poley

Michigan agriculture and environmental groups have received $900,000 to support cover crop adoption across the state through the Farmers for Soil Health partnership.

The Corn Marketing Program of Michigan, Michigan Soybean Committee, Michigan Pork Producers Association, Michigan Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) hope to establish cover crops on at least 55,000 acres.

Corn Marketing Program of Michigan Director of Research and Agronomy Kristin Poley will lead the project over the next four years.

“I’m really excited to have the MAEAP program serving as the primary workforce for farm enrollment and for technical assistance throughout this project,” she says.  “And the wonderful thing about this project, while it does have financial incentives and technical assistance, I think the best part is that it does not disclude farmers that already do cover crops.”

The MAEAP program will be adding a cover crop specialist as part of the project along with additional MAEAP technicians in Bay and St. Joseph Counties.  Poley says cover crop research suggests corn and soybean farmers benefit over time.

“It takes three years to start to see an economic return using cover crops and that is why enrollment for this program is a three-year initiative,” she says.

Enrollment is expected to start in July.

Michigan was one of 19 states to recently be awarded funding to accelerate cover crop adoption through the Farmers for Soil Health partnership.

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