A while back I posted on this, but now can't find it. Anyway, after discussion with the local office, visits to the intended fields, etc. I finally have enough info to seriously evaluate the program. The USDA will pay $700 per acre to reseed the two fields I have in mind. The fields are kind of "rough" and while I keep it mowed, it has had no soil improvements for a long time. The initial discussion was that I would "probably" have to add a ton of lime and 200-300 lbs. of 12-12-12 per acre, which is reasonable. NOW it's lime and fertilize per soil test!!! Being east of the mississippi, the soil is acidic which would require a lot more lime than a ton per acre and the fertilize has to be 10-20-20 which is only available as a special blend. After much discussion or outright laughter on my part at the seeds they required, they relaxed it to Purple prairie, Alsike, and Ladino clover.
So, I can spend $2,000+in order to be reimbursed $700 an acre. What a deal!! The humor or tragedy is that the program is only for one year, the lime they mandate won't even start to act in a year, seed quantities are inadequate. e.g. Purple prarie clover they require 1/2-3/4 lb. per acre and the standard recomendation is 9 lbs due to poor germination. etc.
I was willing to reseed a couple of fields which aren't being particuarly productive and if they could help financially, I'd kick in some money myself and the pollinators would be happy. I'm not willing to spend that much though. The above numbers do not include wear and tear on equipment, diesel fuel, etc.
Well, it's an election year, there will be a new President and Washington will be straightened out, that's what they say anyway. :-)