Dane Co. Continuous Cover Program applications open for landowners

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Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 8:42 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Dane County’s Continuous Cover Program, which encourages landowners to convert existing cropland acres into permanent, perennial grass, is now accepting applications after more community members became interested in joining in 2020.

The Continuous Cover Program started in 2019 with over $750,000 in funding. Because of the program’s success, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi increased funds to $1.75 million in the county budget to allow more landowners to participate in the program, according to a press release.

“Dane County’s Continuous Cover Program offers small family farms and rural property owners the opportunity they need to make ends meet during these challenging times and protect their lands for conservation efforts,” Parisi said.

Landowners who enroll in the Continuous Cover Program have to keep and maintain their land in perennial cover for a minimum of 15 years.

The program helps farmers preserve the character of their land, make their property less vulnerable to flooding and enhance pollinator habitats, Parisi said.

Dane Co. noted that converting cropland to perennial grasses also “increases water infiltration, improves water quality and reduces soil erosion.”

To apply or learn more about the Dane County Continuous Cover Program, go to Dane County’s Land & Water Resources Department’s website or call (608) 224-3730.

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