The U.S. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced this week a $2.6 million grant program to assist farmers in the planting of cover crops. The funds will support 500,000 acres of the conservation practice in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan and Minnesota.

The Midwest Cover Crop Initiative is funded by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Archer Daniels Midland. The use of cover crops across the country has surged, according to a 2021 USDA report, increasing from 10.3 million acres in 2012 to 15.4 million in 2017. Even so, that number only represents roughly 5% of the country’s farmable land.

Read more on the non-profit’s program to aid in cover crop adoption here.