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Maria Woldt, Communications
Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance
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Lafayette County farm group offers conservation incentive program
South Wayne, Wis. (Oct. 17, 2018) – Farmers in Lafayette County are eligible for $20 per acre for up to 50 acres for planting cover crops from the Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance (LASA) cost-share program. The deadline to enroll is Nov. 15.
The program is designed to help encourage farmers to plant cover crops and to minimize the risk associated with trying something new on the farm. Cover crops have proven effective in reducing nutrient run-off and increasing soil health and crop yields.
Cover crops are grasses, brassicas, legumes, small grains or other crops grown between regular grain crop production periods for the purpose of protecting and improving the soil. In Southwest Wisconsin, significant tillable acres have sufficient slope, creating the potential for run-off if the soil is not adequately protected. Eroding soil particles can enter wetlands and streams and carry nutrients to rivers and lakes.
Research has shown that fields with winter and spring cover have 55 percent less water run-off and 50 percent less soil loss annually than fields with no cover.
“This is the first year that LASA is offering a cost share program. We are hopeful that the incentive funds will encourage farmers to continue to try new farming practices that are both good for the farm and the environment,” said Jim Winn, LASA president. “Our goal is that incentivized practices become best-management practices in the future.”
Enrollment is simple. Go to lafayetteagstewadship.org, complete the 2018 cost-share program form and return it by mail or email. At this point in the year, cover crops are likely already established. All varieties and planting techniques are allowed. LASA will follow up to determine how many acres were planted, how they were established and what was planted.
Farmers must be a member of LASA to participate. Membership may be completed at the time of enrollment.
The 2018 LASA Cost-share program includes:
- Cover Crops– $20 per acre up to 50-acre maximum
About Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance: Established in 2017, Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance is a farmer-led 501c(3) non-profit organization with a vision of a community where farmers and friends of agriculture work together to protect and improve our water quality and environment. The group is composed of member-farms with 23,350 head of livestock and 55,760 acres of land. Members represent about 20 percent of the available farm land in Lafayette County. To learn more, go to lafayetteagstewardship.org.
Editor’s Note: [Photos]
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Cover crop garden – Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance will hosted its annual field day on Aug. 23. The popular LASA cover crop garden was one of four stations at the event. The cover crop garden is a ‘living classroom’ for numerous cover crop varieties planted using diverse techniques.
Cover crop garden 2– The goal of the cover crop garden is to show farmers how different species might interact with their own unique farming system.
Cover crop garden 3– Barley
Soil pit– The recent LASA field day featured a soil pit where attendees had the chance to see first-hand how water and root systems interact with the soil profile.
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