I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions. If I want to accomplish something, I’m going to start going after it immediately, not waiting until Jan. 1 to start. If New Year’s resolutions are your thing, I encourage you to include cover crops as part of that plan for your farming operation.

If you already use cover crops, your resolution could be to expand the number of acres where covers are used, or to try different mixtures this year. For those just getting started with cover crops, perhaps you commit to using covers on one field this year or planting them as soon as possible after harvest this fall.

If you have never seeded a single acre of cover crops, perhaps your New Year’s resolution is simply to find out more information about them. Attend a conference to learn more about how to implement cover cropping in your operation or find a local grower who has used covers before and ask them to mentor you in your journey.

Whether or not you choose to make a New Year’s resolution, the new crop year is a great time to reset and try using cover crops. A year from now, you will be amazed at the changes, however subtle, you see in your farm.

Maybe your operation will have higher yields for your cash crops; perhaps you will see evidence of increased earthworm populations in the soil; maybe your soil will have increased its capacity to hold water; or it could be a mix of all of the above. However, you have to start somewhere in order to experience the benefits of cover crops firsthand.