The Minnesota Department of Ag will provide up to $50,000 to support soil health
By Diego Flammini
Members of Minnesota’s ag community looking to purchase or upgrade equipment could receive support from the ag department.
The Department of Agriculture announced $2.375 million in available grants for individual producers, producer groups and local governments purchasing or retrofitting soil health equipment.
Eligible equipment includes no-till drills and air seeders, and retrofit projects that allow for no-till planting.
“Good soil health is important to water quality and our other natural resources in Minnesota,” Ag Commissioner Thom Petersen said in a statement. “It’s important to recognize the financial hurdles farmers face when trying to implement soil health practices because of specialized, expensive equipment and machinery.”
Through the Soil Health Financial Assistance Grants, recipients can receive a cost-share of up to 50 percent. The minimum amount is $500 with the maximum set at $50,000.
Interested farmers must apply by Sept. 15 at 4:00pm C.T.
Grant recipients will be notified by Jan. 1, 2024.
Minnesota is increasing its number of no-till acres.
In 2017, Minnesota farmers used no-till practices on 1,091,337 acres, averaging 188 acres per farm, the Census of Agriculture says.
In 2012, Minnesota farmers employed no-till practices on 818,754 acres.
That represents an increase of 33 percent over five years.
The number of farms practicing intensive tillage reduced by about 35 percent. And Kansas farmers led the way in terms of no-till acres with 11.2 million, the 2017 census said.