Foster Creek Conservation District is excited to announce its Direct Seed cost-share program is open, as FCCD’s third Ag BMPS Water Quality grant from the Washington Department of Ecology gets underway. Availability will be based on the total number of eligible acres, but it is expected that between 8-10 places can be supported
FCCD’s ongoing Direct Seed program is helping to address some of the county-wide water quality and soil erosion issues by providing cost share to producers who are converting from conventional tillage to direct seed systems. The program offers a $28 per acre cost-share for up to 250 acres, and extends over three full crop rotations for a total of 750 acres. The program goal is to assist producers with costs relating to renting direct seed equipment or hiring a local contractor to custom seed their land. The grant will also pay the $100.00 first year Basic membership for the Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association, which provides access to numerous resources, including the annual Cropping Systems conference.
To date, producers participating in the first two sign-ups have direct seeded over 4,800 eligible cost-share acres, not including additional acres above and beyond the total target of 750 acres per participant. Other components of each of the three Ecology grants include regular water quality monitoring at a number of sites in Foster Creek tributaries and a Cost/Benefit analysis that will provide operators with a summary of the economic impacts for producers switching from conventional tillage to direct seed systems. A soil testing and monitoring program will also be getting underway this year. This project hopes to show the changes in the soil relating to implementing the new direct seed system and, where possible, will also compare conventional tilled and no-till fields within each operation.
If you are interested in participating in, or have questions about, the Direct Seed program please contact Amanda Ward, District Manager, on: 509-888-6373 (office), or 509-449-2158 (cell).