Regional Conservation Partnership Program Brings Additional Conservation Resources to Area Watershed Project: Aaron Easton - Plymouth County
Aaron Easton, a producer in Northeast Plymouth County has been a participant in the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) for two years in a row. The RCPP is a federally funded program which brings additional financial and technical assistance to conservation efforts in the Deep Creek WQI and other priority areas across the state. “RCPP has been a great way to work in improving conservation work,” stated Aaron. Last year, he received cost share to install terraces on very long, short sloping fields and cover crops; this year, he received cost share for cover crops. “During tight financial times it’s hard to justify doing much experimentation with covers and other conservation practices or invest in any conservation structures. RCPP and the Deep Creek Project has allowed this work to continue and even accelerate during a difficult economic time. Hopefully the project will show great positive results that will encourage these practices to spread beyond the current project area,” Aaron indicated.
Aaron’s farm is currently in a corn/soybean rotation and he has been incorporating cover crops and no-till farming into his farming practices. When asked if cover crops work in your fields, he said, “I love the concept, but I'm still on the fence as to whether cover crops are viable practice in this region.” He has found some challenges with cover crops in his field, but he is experimenting on how to fix these issues.
We have found that more producers are utilizing RCPP and the Environmental Quality Initiative Program (EQIP) because of the higher cost share rates and an increase in cover crop usage in the Deep Creek Project area. We are hoping to continue to see more usage of cover crop and federal programs; having producers like Aaron to give us an insight on what works for him has been very beneficial to the project.