Farmers for Soil Health enrollment nears in Michigan

Kristin Poley

Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program technicians will soon start enrolling farmers in the Farmers for Soil Health partnership.

Michigan Corn’s Kristin Poley tells Brownfield existing statewide staff will help speed up access to the $1.3 million available for 2023 projects.

“And that is funding that includes financial assistance and technical assistance for cover crops in corn and soybean rotations all across the entire state,” she explains.

Poley is overseeing the program in Michigan and says research has found it can take up to five years for cover crops to provide benefits.

“This payment is a $50 per acre payment spread out over three years, and the idea is that once you hit that third year, you’re starting to see some of the soil health organic matter benefits of those cover crops,” she says. “And that might allow you to take on some of those cover cropping practices on your own.”

The project is expected to support about 200 farmers in establishing cover crops on 55,000 acres across Michigan. Poley says farmers who plant cover crops this fall can also retroactively be enrolled.  The enrollment deadline is March 1st.

The National Corn Growers Association, United Soybean Board, National Pork Board, and others received a $95 million Climate-Smart USDA grant to support soil health efforts across 20 states including in Michigan.

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