By Reed Doerr, Shade Haven President
With inflation dominating the headlines, wouldn’t it be nice to get a break on the cost of something that improves the lives and health of your livestock? Throughout this year, I have received countless phone calls from NRCS field agents around the country excited to learn more about the Shade Haven. Providing shade has long been a part of EQIP [Environmental Quality Incentives Program], but for some states 2022 is the first year that mobile shade has received funding, and it could not come at a better time.
The Shade Haven continues to be the only real solution to mobile shade for graziers. It is a piece of machinery that adds so much more to your farm then the lonely oak tree in the back 40. Owners frequently boast about its importance, from the behavior of their animals to the quality of their pastures. In many cases, farmers very quickly buy a second Shade Haven for their group of steers, or weaned calves. Relief from the hot sun becomes as obvious as providing water to a parched animal; what is the reasonable life expectancy much less performance of a stressed or otherwise dying animal?
In a recent conversation with a Missouri NRCS field agent, I learned that Missouri also recognizes access to shade is an important part of a grazing plan. In 2022, Missouri farmers receive $4.66/sq. ft. or $5.60/sq. ft., depending on qualifications, toward the cost of a mobile shade system for their animals. That translates into $5,590 or $6,700 savings on the SH1200. Other states offer varying rates of funding per square foot of shade.
For many states, EQIP funding applications are due in October, but deadlines vary from state to state. I recommend contacting your local NRCS agent to ask about mobile shade funding. Fill out the application now, so when next year’s grazing season arrives, your cows don’t suffer in what seems to be hotter, longer summers!
Find your local NRCS office here.