Welcome! I hope you will join us in participating in the Conservation Innovative Grants Fiscal Year 2013 Adaptation to Drought Grant program. The program offers to reimburse you for 50% of the cost of applying 100% of your manure during the next 3 years.
For purposes of the Grant, that portion of the manure Deep Injected will be at least 6" below the soils "Black Layer" and shall be the "Subject" of the trial. Yield data from previous years and fields with no manure application in 2013, 2014 and 2015 are part of the controls as will be the acreage (tonage) with manure surface and appllied in the top soil. Under the grant provisions, that portion of the manure Deep Injected can approach as much as 87.5% of the applied acreage or as little as 12.5%.
We hope to have acreage spread over a range of soil and climatic conditions, being able to Deep Inject approximately 50% of the aproximately 2500 acres of Spring application. A dry cold Spring might allow us to apply as much as 87.5% of the manure without interfering with Spring Planting. With 8-12 farms ( tank spreaders) and a wet Spring, we may find ourselves scurying from farm to farm to apply 12.5% of your manure (25% of 50% of your acreage).
Manure summer applied can be Deep Injected of between 12.5%-87.5% and for purposes of the Grant, we are limiting this application to 2500 acres
Fall applied to the same 12.5-87.5%. For purposes of the grant, we are limiting application to 5000 acres annually.
For flexibility through the course of the year, specifically not to require a specific amount applied in the Spring, the Grant Application won't specify seasonnal applications, nor prevent the participant from having more manure in the "Control" group than otherwise planned.
You have to be in compliance with your "Conservation plan" to participate.
Individual field data from previous years will be helpful in improving the accuracy of the data collected (the controls) and will be used to determine acceptance into the Grant Program. With only 2500 acres of Spring applied manure accepted, the acreage with the largest accompanying controls (yield data) will be given a higher priority of acceptance in the Grant Program then that with little or no yeild data.
You might ask how is this all suppose to work? Picture fields A, B, C, D all with similar soil types (or not, we can adjust for that too!) yeild data from similar years for A & B, B & C, and C & D, hence through correlation we can compare yield data from A & D (years past) to that of our "subject" a portion of field D or even the field as a whole! If field C and field D with similar soil types, whether 100% "control" or 100 % "subject" yield data will vary from which we can draw from.
In filling out the form, (later with a more official entry), be optimistic! We fully plan on the return of a small portion of the Grants budget. You can't be paid for manure you don't apply or not Deep Inject, but if you don't allow for additional milk house waste, exceptional rainfall or favorable weather, you can't be paid for additional tonage or the difference in application prices. (In theory you should be able to buy or borrow manure from your neighbor if you run short, but unless you were optimistic about the amount of manure produced in each of the 3 years, you can't be paid for manure tonage, you didn't apply for in the Grant Application!)
We can't foresee tragedy, a second drought in 2013, 2014 and/or 2015 may force you to make adjustments in herd size, but in being optimistic perhaps 5-10% higher than anticipated manure production and Deep Injection, you will be reimbursed for the over estimate!
Deep injection is going to cost money, approximately 150% of that of conventional applications. It would be unfair of me to Deep Inject more acreage then you have signed to have applied manure to, limiting another participants Deep Injection application. Likewise a delay in Deep Injection shouldn't delay planting or limit the number of acres you receive payment for. Differences in the price between applications will lead to a small portion of the budgeted funds returned to Natural Resourses Conservation Service.
Perhaps an Example is Warranted: If you have 250 acres to be Spring applied (1/10 that of the Grant Acreage) (You can sign up to 87.5%) and are thinking 50-50, 30"deep for Deep injection, 20 tons/acre. You will receive 1/2, $2/ ton for your 125 acres $5000 and 1/2, $7500 for the custom Deep Injected portion and owe in total, $15,000 for deep injection. leaving an out of pocket cost of $2500. If time becomes criticle or you want zero out of pocket and elect a 40-60 rato you will receive $6000 for your 150 acres applied and $6000 for the 100 acres Deep Injected, zero out of pocket, but it leaves $500 in escrow!
How much out of pocket? You might have a lot of custom work performed, so you know it cost as much to own and operate, perhaps more to own and/or perform your own field operations then have them custom done! Keeping in mind that through the Grant you can Deep Inject up to 87.5% of your acreage, surface apply as little as 12.5% at 10 ton/acre and deep Inject at 40 Ton/acre. For 250 acres, out of pocket would be $25,625 OR $102.50/acre........... What's in your Wallet? (Tank)
The upper limit of your Grant Payments hinges on the amount of manure your dairy produces. The Grant is in part trying to determine if manure, Deep Injected into the subsoil will improve soil health, deepen the top soil, IMPROVE DROUGHT TOLLERANCE and isn't about improving yields over the short term via the nutrient content of the manure. Deep Injected at higher than normal rates of 20 Ton/acre (40 Ton/acre) instead of applying manure annually or over a large acreage, a more economical approach to Deep Injection might be to Deep Inject fewer acres annually. Put another way, at 40 Ton/acre you may not be able to apply 40 ton on 250 Acres application or cut the cost elect to go shallower, of Deep injection, if you elect to gp
DEEP INJECTION: Are you part of the faithful, have your doubts or are you signing to collect Grant payments? If you are part of the faithful, you can purchase your own equipment and be paid accordingly! I may restrict you from custom applying on other acrage in the Grant, but if I am having problems applying 50% of the manure, I may welcome your participation! Through the purchase of 2 deep injection units (rippers) I hope to be able to apply half of your annual manure applications for the next 3 years, with you having a net after you've paid me your half of the custom rate of $4/ton for application.
If you have your doubts, let me suggest that you sign according to your "gut" feelings regarding the application 40-60 or 50-50 ratios, but might I suggest higher Deep Inject estimates for subsequent years, then if you like the 2013 Deep Injection Application, you can bump amounts Deep Injected to those for which you have applied with