Iowa soybean growers are being offered a new cost share program designed to boost the use of cover crops. The Conservation Technology Information Center says the offer covers up to $25 per acre plus discounts on Soil First brand cover crop seed by La Crosse Seed to Iowa soybean growers willing to establish or expand cover crop acreage and sign onto the Unilever/ADM Sustainable Soy Continuous Improvement Program.
“This cover crop cost-share program is a great opportunity for farmers,” notes Maree Deventer, soy sustainability program coordinator for ADM in Des Moines. “It will help provide financial assistance to farmers to see the benefits and learn first-hand how cover crops work on their farm. Participants will have access to special field days and one-on-one advice from other successful farmers and be able to use the Field to Market Fieldprint® Calculator to compare data from their operations to sustainability indicators from farms around the country.
“They’ll also be at the cutting edge of a new supply chain, through which buyers like Unilever will increasingly be seeking out products from certified sustainably grown soybeans,” Deventer adds.
Unilever’s senior manager, external affairs and sustainability, Stefani Millie Grant, notes that her company aims to source certified sustainably produced soybeans from 1 million acres by the end of 2017. The Unilever/ADM program enables farmers to document their performance on key sustainability criteria and continually improve their operations.
“Many farmers are already farming sustainably,” Grant says. “Using the Field to Market Fieldprint® Calculator and enrolling in the Unilever/ADM Sustainable Soy Continuous Improvement Program allows them to document it. It’s a powerful story to tell to buyers like us, and to the consumers who feed our products to their families.”
Cost-share funding is capped at 160 acres per applicant except in cases of special requests that will be considered individually.
More information is available by contacting Maree Deventer at ADM at (515) 263-3266 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Sarah Carlson at Practical Farmers of Iowa at (515) 232-5661 or email@example.com, or through La Crosse Seed dealers.