Program Description:

This practice will improve water quality by providing an adequate residue cover to prevent erosion and serve as desirable mulch for no-till cultivation. Water quality will also be enhanced by the nitrogen fixation of the legume in order to reduce applied amendments. Cost-share and tax credit are provided for utilizing an adequate legume mulch residue as a natural source of nitrogen to reduce applied soil amendment nitrogen.

Cost-sharing and tax credit are authorized as an incentive on a per acre basis to add this practice within an established rotation. This practice is for use only on land being planted to a grain crop. No-till planting must be established into an existing legume stand or newly established legume stand. Removal of the legume residue by baling or by any other means is not allowed. Grazing is not permitted for this practice. The practice may be certified complete once the grain crop has been planted using no-till methods into the legume mulch cover and all applicable specifications listed above have been met. There are requirements for mulch cover on existing and new stands. Legume cover crop must be left on surface intact to serve as mulch for the no-till planting of grain crops. Applicant must submit documentation (fertilizer recommendation and bills, or signed statement) indicating that the applied nitrogen fertilizer used that crop year (grain) was reduced, or will be reduced only in cases where nitrogen will be applied after June 1.

Landowner Eligibility:

All individuals and business entities operating agricultural land within the boundaries of the Commonwealth of Virginia are eligible to participate in the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program. Applicants shall self certify that they meet the above criteria. Soil & Water Conservation Districts may request that applicants provide proof of agricultural production. To be considered an agricultural producer there must be an annual minimum of $1,000 of agricultural products being produced, sold or both from the applicant's agricultural land (non-industrial private forest lands are exempt from the $1,000 requirement).

Land Eligibility:

Land planted in grain crop. Grazing is not permitted in this practice.

Contract Length:

1 year

Cost-Share/Payment Information:

The total eligible cost is $35 per acre.

The tax credit rate is 25% of the total eligible cost not to exceed $17,500. If a cooperator receives cost share, only the per cent of the total cost of the project that the cooperator contributed is used to determine the tax credit.

Legacy Program Information:

Applicant may reapply after the lifespan of the original contract has terminated.

Signup Information

Sign-up is continuous.

Additional Resources

Find out more about Virginia's Soil and Water Conservation Districts