Cover photo for North Dakota Soil Health Cover Crop Grant Program

North Dakota Soil Health Cover Crop Grant Program

North Dakota Department of Agriculture

Closed October 1, 2023

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture's Soil Health Cover Crop Grant Program provides grantees with a direct payment per acre of cover crop planted. As a conservation program, the program’s primary goal is to protect and enhance soil health statewide. In particular, the program is targeting cropland areas impacted with alkaline soils. NDDA provides cost share to producers on a first-come-first-serve basis. Successful applicants may receive a $25/acre. There will be a 160 acre cap per producer.


Program Participation Requirements

  1. Conduct field soil test prior to planting cover crop (results must be submitted with application).

  2. Select cover crop to be grown.

  3. Plant cover crop (prior to September 15th deadline).

  4. Apply online at NDDA’s Soil Health Cover Crop Grant Program webpage (December 1 deadline).

    • Complete application

    • Copy of soil test

    • Copy of seed bill/receipt

  5. Applications will be selected by lottery; successful applicants will be notified via email.

  6. Successful applicants must register as a vendor with the state of North Dakota and notify program contact by email when completed.

  7. Once all previous steps completed, payment for cost share will be processed after the application deadline each year. Payments may take up to 60 days for processing.

Eligible Cover Crop/Planting/Mixes

  • Soil Conservation/NRCS county specific suggested plantings are eligible for this program

  • Other eligible cover crop plantings include:

    • Turnips

    • Radishes

    • Cow peas

    • Field peas

    • Dry peas

    • Hairy vetch

    • Sunflowers

    • Millet

    • Sorghum

    • Grazing corn

    • Red clover

  • If cover crop will be planted before May 20, eligible grasses include:

    • Barley

    • Oats

    • Rye

    • Triticale

  • Perennial Grasses and Legumes to address saline areas

    • Alfalfa

    • Western Wheatgrass

    • Intermediate Wheatgrass

    • AC Saltlander



  • Application for the program does not guarantee cost share reimbursement.

  • Cost share payment of $25 an acre.

  • 160-acre cap per applicant per year.

  • Applicants should use Midwest Cover Crops Council Cover Crops Decision Tool to assist in the determination of their cover crop.

  • Applicants in need of further technical assistance for cover crop planting or planning should consult with NRCS, their county Soil Conservation District or the Watershed Program Coordinator in their county.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Cover crop must be planted by August 31.

  • Complete online application by October 1.

  • Minimum seeding rates must be followed (please see eligible seed mixes in guidelines and minimum seeding rates in the Midwest Cover Crops Council Cover Crops Decision Tool). Soil Conservation/NRCS county specific suggested plantings are also eligible for this program.

  • No fall tillage allowed if planting is done after harvest of cash crop.

  • Grazing and haying is allowed on cover crops after July 5th.

  • Must register as a vendor with the state of North Dakota to receive payment.

  • Must test soil before crop is planted.

  • Must provide previous crop planted/cropping rotation before cover crop.

  • Must identify cover crop/mix planted.

  • Must provide copy of seed bill in application.

Application Instructions

To apply, first gather the required documentation. You will need to scan and upload each of the below during the application:

Then, apply online from this link to the NDDA's application portal.



October 1, 2023

Financial Instrument

Cost Share

Updated March 26, 2024

Image Credit: pgaberski

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