Ag Credit assists NRCS with cover crop signs


FOSTORIA – Ag Credit is partnering with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to provide metal signs
to be placed in cover crop fields funded by NRCS’s special Environmental Quality Incentives Programs
cover crop project.
Last August, NRCS created the EQIP project in response to the drinking water ban in Toledo. The project
covered 20 Ohio counties in the Western Lake Erie Basin with the goal of reducing agricultural
phosphorus entering Lake Erie by increasing the amount of land planted to a cover crop.  Cover crops
improve agricultural productivity by improving soil health and reducing soil erosion which in turn
protects water quality.
The "Farmers Protecting Our Lake" signs promote awareness about conservation tied to Lake Erie
water quality. State Conservationist Terry Cosby said, "Many people don’t know what cover crops
look like. These signs will help spark conversation about cover crops and what farmers are doing to help
improve water quality."
Brian Ricker, Ag Credit CEO, and Terry Cosby, NRCS State Conservationist, met at the farm of Ag Credit
member, Jerry McBride, in Hardin County, to place the first sign.
This year, thanks to the help of this program, McBride planted 374 acres of cover crops including cereal
rye, hairy vetch, and tillage radishes. McBride says, "We do all we can for the environment. The
more I can do to help, the better it is for everyone downstream." He has been planting cover crops
for five years and participates in other NRCS EQIP projects.
Ricker added, "Part of being a cooperative is reaching out and creating partnerships with others in
the community to benefit our 6,000 farm family members. These signs will be a great talking point and
benefit to Lake Erie and the community."
An unprecedented response from watershed farmers resulted in applications to plant cover crops on 86,000
acres. NRCS had funding for 60,000 acres of cover crops, although many farmers planted cover crops on
their own or as part of the State sponsored cover crop program.
Visit YouTube to see the first sign posted at

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