One farmer in southern Cass County tried planting cover crops for the first time last year.
Kory Wilson, whose family farms on some acreage in the Deer Creek watershed, put a filter strip at the edge of tomato fields in that area — about 60 feet of grass along the creek’s banks.
The Wilsons also planted cover crops on about 60 acres last year after the tomato harvest. It’s too early to gauge how effective the cover crops have been, he said, but he may plant cover crops on up to 150 acres the next time around.
Cover crops come with their own set of complications, he said. “Sometimes it’s worth its money, sometimes it’s not. It’s not always a guarantee it’s going to grow.”
Crop insurance programs don’t provide reimbursement for the practice, either, Wilson said, so it’s a risk farmers must weigh the worth of themselves.
The plan was submitted to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management on Feb. 12 and will undergo a review from both IDEM and the EPA. Approval in mid-April is pending.
Once it’s approved, the cost-share money will be available over the next two years to those living or working in the Deer Creek-Sugar Creek watershed. The management plan will also improve eligibility for additional funding and grants, according to a press release from the Wabash River Enhancement Corp.
More information about the project is available on the corporation’s website at www.wabashriver.net/deer-creek-sugar-creek/.
Read the report Access the full study of the Deer Creek-Sugar Creek watershed on the Wabash River Enhancement Corp.'s website at www.wabashriver.net/deer-creek-sugar-creek/