Dane County pilots $750K farm runoff program

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin county that is home to Madison plans to spend $750,000 this year in a pilot program that pays farmers to plant cover crops in an effort to curb runoff from heavy rains and snowmelt.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that Dane County is encouraging farmers to apply for grants in its continuous cover program through May 31.

Farmers participating in the trial program will have to set aside at least half an acre of land for 15 years. They'll receive funding based on several factors, including number of acres and vegetation costs.

Farmers can convert lands currently used for row crops into prairie lands, perennial grasses or land for grazing cattle. Prairie land can help reduce runoff and absorb water during flooding. Perennial grasses can serve as buffers between streams and crops.

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