SCD approves $4.6M cover crop program

Sept. 6, 2023

The Sussex Conservation District (SCD) board of supervisors voted to approve the annual cover crop cost-share program at the board meeting on Aug. 22.

“Just over $4.6 million in funding for the cover crop program is available to reach a goal of 80,000 acres of cover crops to be planted in Sussex County this fall,” said Debbie Absher, director of agricultural programs at SCD.

The cover crop program received 287 applications with over 185,000 acres enrolled. This year producers enrolled over 2,500 more acres in the cover crop program than the previous year.

“This program is a win-win for everyone, our producers benefit from increased soil health and our waterways are cleaner because cover crops hold soil and nutrients in place over winter,” said David Baird, district coordinator at SCD. 

Many farmers are already realizing the benefits of planting cover crops through increased soil health and organic matter. Over time this leads to better soil structure and stability as well as nutrient cycling and moisture holding capacity. These properties improve water quality by increasing nutrient uptake and improving infiltration while reducing erosion and sediment runoff. Producers also report lower operating costs after implementing cover crops.

Funding for SCDs cover crop cost-share program is provided by the Delaware General Assembly through the Delaware Department of Agriculture – Nutrient Management Commission, the Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control – Conservation Cost Share Program, Non-Point Source Program and Chesapeake Bay Programs, and the Sussex County Council.

For more information on SCDs cover crop cost-share program, call 302-856-3990, ext. 3, or visit