Acreage goals have been set as part of the West Fork Crooked Creek Water Quality and Soil Health Initiative. The Washington County Soil and Water Conservation District is leading the project that received a state grant last year worth over $480,000. The initiative’s purpose is to reduce nutrient runoff by implementing conservation practices on area farms.
Through cost sharing, they hope to help farmers establish 16,000 acres of cover crops and 150 acres of buffer strips. According to the conservation district’s data, cover crops reduce nitrogen by 31% and phosphorus by 29%, while buffers reduce nitrogen by 91% and phosphorus by 58%. Both practices reduce soil erosion.
District Conservationist for Washington County, Tony Maxwell, says they’re accepting applications for the cost sharing over the summer.