Cover crops are crops used for the sole purpose of protecting the soil and reducing runoff. They are planted in the spring and winter and contribute to improving soil quality.

Cover crops can be used to protect watersheds from nutrient runoff by trapping nutrients in their roots and leaves, which are then decomposed by bacteria. They also help to filter out sediment from rainwater before it reaches streams and rivers, protecting water sources from pollution.

OCWA helps to fund, in partnership with Onondaga County’s Soil and Water Conservation District, the use of cover crops on farms within the Otisco Lake watershed. This funding is designed to help farmers protect our watersheds while also controlling erosion.