Cover crop grants for farmers in Lambton Shores

Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2024
A file photo of cover crops.

Cover crop incentive available for Lambton Shores farmers

By Jessica Van Zwol, Healthy Watershed Specialist, St. Clair Region Conservation Authority

The spring of 2024 has been difficult for planting, to say the least. Cool weather, rain, and late frosts haven’t helped farmers get their crops in for the season. Once the crops are planted, however, thoughts move towards the next action in a farm rotation. For some, it will be wheat harvest and for others, the next big item will be the soybean harvest. Although it’s still a ways off, planning now what cover crop to plant, post-harvest, is a great idea. 

St. Clair Conservation and Ausable Bayfield Conservation have an incentive program available for farmers planning to plant cover crops this year.

Cover crop mixes (at least three species) planted in autumn 2024, and allowed to overwinter and/or winter kill, are eligible for $15 per acre. No invoices for seed purchases will be required. Staff will require proof of 50 per cent (living or dead) residue remaining in spring 2025. 

For more details, contact Jessica Van Zwol, Healthy Watershed Specialist, by email at or by phone at 519-245-3710, extension 241. She can put you in touch with the program that is right for you, including connecting you with advice about which cover crop species will work for your farm and options for managing your cover crop through the seasons.  

Planting cover crops provides many benefits to your soils. Cover crop roots can hold onto soil and nutrients in a farm field during the wettest months of the year, where we can see the greatest runoff events happen (e.g., snow melt and late autumn and early spring rains).

Without roots securing the soil, wind and water can scour bare fields, carting away valuable topsoil and expensive crop inputs like fertilizers. Additionally, cover crops can add nutrients to the soil, boosting your soil test levels for several cash crops. 

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