Cover Crops

The Wayne Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) offers a Cover Crop Program that is funded through the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD). Through this program, MWCD offers reimbursement for approved fields you apply for with a cap of 200 acres per applicant across eligible counties in the jurisdictional boundary of the MWCD District, unless fields are located within one of the specified MWCD Lake watersheds.

To download the Muskingum River Watershed Map, click here.


Check out the latest video below of aerial seeding of cover crops by the Holmes SWCD at the Holmes County Airport.

Filmed by the Wayne SWCD.

Ayers Farm Cover Crop Field Day

Browse through pictures of a cover crop field day Ashland SWCD arranged at the Ayers Farm in Loudonville on April 16th, 2019.

Why use cover crops?

Cover crops “reduce soil erosion, reduce nutrient leaching, store carbon, improve soil structure, increase water infiltration, reduce compaction, suppress weeds, enhance wildlife, fix nitrogen and serve as a forage product.”

(Rafiq Islam, Ohio State University Extension soil scientist)

MWCD Maintenance Assessment

In 2009, the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) began work under its Amendment to the Official Plan of the MWCD, which was adopted in 2005. The Amendment to the Official Plan is funded through an assessment of property owners in the Muskingum River Watershed according to Ohio law.

Collection of the assessment began in 2009, with the MWCD estimating that it will generate between $9 million and $10 million annually through the assessment. Nearly 500,000 parcels of property are subject to payment of the assessment, with nearly 96 percent of those properties assessed a total of $12 per year. In 2015, the MWCD Board of Directors reduced the assessment by 50%, lowering the amount to a total of $6 per year for most properties.

Assessment funds can be used solely for maintenance and rehabilitation projects and are audited by the State of Ohio to ensure compliance.

The MWCD is committed to a fair and equitable system of assessment. Staff members at the MWCD are available to assist property owners who have questions.

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District is absolutely committed to safeguarding our area by maintaining our dams and reservoirs for future generations.

Most questions regarding the MWCD Maintenance Assessment are answered in this section. If you have a question that is not answered here or you require further clarification, please contact an Assessment Specialist by calling toll free 866.755.6923.

Staff from the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District are available to conduct an administrative review of the assessment assigned to your property or properties.

In an effort to recognize the efforts of individuals in conservation, watershed stewardship, education and implementation of best management practices, an assessment credits program was developed, giving landowners the opportunity to reduce their annual assessment.

Clicking on "Check your Assessment" will redirect you to the Maintenance Assessment Web Portal. On the first page, you will choose to make either an Assessment Record search or a Subsequent Appraisal Record search. You will then see a map of the Counties that comprise the Muskingum Watershed. To begin a parcel search, please click on the County of interest, accept the terms of use, and search using the criterion listed on the tab at the top of the page.

Figure 1.

Seeding Rates and Dates that meet NRCS Standards

To download the full table please click the link below:

Appendix – A (Cover Crop)

Figure 2.

Choosing Your Cover Crop

To download the cover crop chart click here.