FY22 Sign-up Period: July 14- August 18, 2021 for the 1st ranking period

 

Please contact District Staff to schedule an appointment to apply or

use the District's Sign-Up form below to email sign-up in by August 18th***

  Carmie Savage, District Manager, (757) 302--4431 / carmie.savage@esswcd.org or 

Bill Savage, Conservation Specialist, (757) 302-4437 / bill.savage@esswcd.org

 

 

A Nutrient Management Plan must be prepared and certified by a

Virginia certified Nutrient Management Planner; and must be on file with

the District before any cost-share payment is made to the participant.

 

Cost Share funding for Nutrient Management Planning is available.

Please sign-up during the cost share period listed above.

***Try using the District's easy-to-use SIGN-UP FORM (Excel file) to take your time and sign-up using your

own computer and then email it to one of the staff members listed above or fill it in then print it out and mail or deliver in person if not comfortable emailing it in or print out the form and fill it in by hand then drop it off.   

Please fill in correctly using multiple sheets if necessary, sign, date and submit to District by the August 18th deadline via an email listed above or in-person by appointment or via USPS at ESSWCD, 22545 Center Parkway, Accomac, VA  23301

 

With every passing year, more and more farmers are

switching from conventional tillage to no till farming,

and it is no wonder! Less work, higher crop yields,

increased soil preservation, and more profitability

are just a few of the reasons to consider making the

switch to no till farming.

 

Two NO-TILL BMPs to choose from, one BMP

for converting from conventional tillage to no-till

planting methods and another BMP available for

those already using no-till planting methods!

                                                                             

   See details about both available BMPS below:                         No till soil (left) compared with compacted tilled soil (right)

       CONVERTING FROM COVENTIONAL TILL TO NO-TILL? THIS PRACTICE IS FOR YOU!

SL-15A: CONTINUOUS HIGH RESIDUE MINIMAL SOIL DISTURBANCE TILLAGE SYSTEM:

(Click on SL-15A link above to rea)

  • All eligible fields must be converting from a minimum till or conventional till systems to a high residue minimal soil disturbance tillage system.

  • Fields must have a cropping history for two out of the past five years.

  • Multi-year, multi-crop rotations must include at least two crops of small grain, including those planted as cover crops, in five years to be eligible. No harvest of small grain hay or straw is allowed. Permanent grass or hay land is not considered cropland for this practice.

  • Biomass requirements for all crop rotations must maintain a minimum of 60% rain drop intercepting residue cover on the enrolled acres for the lifespan of the practice.

  • All practice components implemented must be maintained for a minimum of five years following the calendar year of installation. The lifespan begins on Jan. 1 of the calendar year following the year of certification of completion.

  • The state cost-share rate is a onetime incentive payment of $70 per acre. This practice is subject to annual spot check by District staff throughout the lifespan of the practice and failure to maintain the practice may result in reimbursement of cost-share.

     ALREADY PLANTING USING NO-TILL METHODS? THIS PRACTICE IS FOR YOU!

CCI-CNT: LONG TERM CONTINUOUS NO-TILL PLANTING SYSTEMS:

(Click on CCI-CNT link above to read program specification)

  • All crops must be planted using no-till methods. Eligible land must be managed under a continuous no-till planting system that results in a minimum of 60% residue cover on all of the enrolled acres and must be maintained for the lifespan of the practice. Prior to practice authorization, the District will verify that no-till planting methods have been utilized on site and that 60% cover exists on the land. Land enrolled in an active SL-15A practice is not eligible for CCI- CNT.

  • All eligible fields must have a cropping history two out of the past five years. Only multi-year, multi-crop rotations on cropland that include at least two crops of small grain or cover crop in five years are eligible.

  • All required small grain crops may be harvested for grain only. Straw must remain on the field. Permanent grass or hay land is not considered cropland.

  • Biomass requirements for cash grain, oilseed, cotton and small grain rotations must maintain a minimum of 60% residue cover on the enrolled acres and must be maintained for the lifespan of the practice.

  • All practice components implemented must be maintained for a minimum of five years following the calendar year of installation. The lifespan begins on Jan. 1 of the calendar year following the calendar year of certification of completion. By accepting cost-share payment for this practice, the participant agrees to maintain all practice components for the specified lifespan. 

  • The state cost-share rate is a onetime incentive payment of $25 per acre. This practice is subject to annual spot check by District staff throughout the lifespan of the practice and failure to maintain the practice may result in reimbursement of cost-share.

Benefits Of No Till Farming
Below are some of the main benefits of no till seeding:

  • Less Soil Compaction: Multiple passes over a field with heavy equipment compacts the soil more than no till planting. In addition, bare soil can easily become compacted by rainfall. Tillage also breaks up the soil structure (soil aggregates), which makes it more susceptible to compaction. On the other hand, ground that is not tilled is less compacted – before, during, and after the planting process.

  • Less Soil Erosion: In no till farming, because the soil isn’t being turned over, less soil blows away and less soil washes away. The vegetative cover that’s left behind in no till planting helps control the loss of topsoil on steep slopes from runoff, and also helps prevent wind erosion.

  • Less Evaporation: Those same plant residues that are left behind in no tillage also capture water, help keep the soil moist, and minimize the evaporative effects of the wind and sun. Whether dryland (rain-fed) or irrigation, this “water-saving” effect of no till farming has considerable importance.

  • More Fertile Soils: Because the soil isn’t constantly being stirred with tillage, phosphorus fertilizers remain effective for longer (many years). The more soil the P fertilizers are exposed to, the more they react chemically with the soil particles and become bound or fixed into forms that are not available to the plant.

  • Lower Costs: With no till farming, you only have to go over the field once to establish your crop, not three to five times, which drastically reduces fuel and labor costs. There’s also less equipment needed, and less wear and tear on machinery.

  • Better Crop Yields: Crop yields with no till farming should equal or exceed those of conventional tillage, particularly if you use the right equipment.

   

           No Till Farming Facts

Below are a few interesting facts about no till farming.

 

  • In 1990, approximately 6% of the farmland in                                                                              America was being farmed using no till practices.

  • In 2004, approximately 22% of the farmland in                                                                        America was being farmed using no till practices.

  • In 2016, approximately 35% of the farmland in                                                                           America was being farmed using no till practices.                                                                        In California, however, this figure stood at just 3%.

  • According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture report conducted by the US Department of Agriculture, Kansas was the top state for no till (10.4 million acres), followed by Nebraska (9.4 million acres), North Dakota (7.8 million acres), South Dakota (7.2 million acres), Iowa (7 million acres), and Montana (6.9 million acres).

  • The main benefits of no till farming include: improved soil health, decreased equipment costs, reduced fuel costs, lower labor costs, lower dust levels, less erosion, and more water conservation.

  • In conventional farming, weed control takes place by turning over the soil. Through plowing, soil is turned over (to a depth of up to a foot), which helps kill weeds and pests. For no till planting to be effective, weeds need to be controlled through the use of herbicides. Herbicides developed during World War II, and introduced into the U.S. in the 1940s, made no till farming on a large scale possible.

  • The Dust Bowl of the 1930s, which exacerbated the Great Depression, was caused not only by severe drought conditions, but also by overplanting and poor crop rotation practices.

  • Even though no till farming is a “sustainable” solution, often referred to as “conservation farming,” most organic farmers are not fans of it because of the use of herbicides to control weeds.

  • In no till planting, crops from the previous year or planting season (known as crop residue) are chopped off and left on the topsoil, serving as “mulch” for the new crop. This crop residue improves water retention, which, in turn, reduces the amount of water needed for a given crop.

  • No till farming can drastically reduce soil erosion.

  • Between 1982 and 2003, there was a 43% reduction in soil erosion in the U.S. (according to the USDA’s National Resources Inventory), in large part because of an increase in no tillage.


 

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