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Over $540,000 available for cover crops in Sussex County, Del.

Nov. 2, 2021

Over $540,000 is available to plant cover crops in the Delaware Bay and Inland Bays watersheds of Sussex County, over the next two years.

“Protecting the Delaware Bay and Inland Bays with Cover Crops” is a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project focused on improving water quality through soil health. The Sussex Conservation District (SCD) leads the project with local partners the Delaware Department of Agriculture – Nutrient Management Program, Perdue Farms Inc., Amick Farms, Allen Harim Foods LLC. and Mountaire Farms.

“We are proud to work with numerous partners and provide funding for farmers to plant cover crops,” said Debbie Absher, director of agricultural programs at SCD. “Cover crops improve soil health and water quality because of their ability to scavenge excess nutrients in the soil and increase organic matter.”

“This RCPP project is a win-win for farmers, it brings valuable resources into Sussex County to enhance the producer’s operation and improve overall water quality,” said David Baird, district coordinator at SCD.

RCPP applications are accepted year-round; however, the first application deadline is Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. All applications received by the deadline will be ranked and considered for funding in Spring 2022.

With a project goal of implementing cover crops on 10,400 acres, in 2021 SCD wrote contracts obligating over $253,500 to plant cover crops on 4,042 acres in the targeted watersheds.

For more information on eligibility or to complete an application, call the Sussex County USDA Service Center at 302-856-3990, ext. 3.

RCPP promotes coordination between the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and its partners to address resource concerns on privately-owned agricultural and forest lands. To learn more about Delaware NRCS, visit To learn more about SCD, visit


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