Economics

Cover crops are a great idea, but many farmers want to know how cover crops are paying off and how they will fit into their crop production budget. This topic shares the results of research studies and economic information provided by growers and other ag stakeholders to give cover crop users a better understanding of the costs of establishment and the benefits to expect, including soil biology, nutrient and pest and disease management benefits.

ARTICLES

Use Cover Crops to Help Save Fertilizer

Although I try not to pitch cover crops as some magic bullet for cost saving, my experience shows that the answer to the question — “Do cover crops pay?” — is a resounding yes. Often, we tend to focus on the potential for increased cash crop yields, and that may indeed occur, but probably not every season. Read more in this article from Lancaster Farming.
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Cover Crops Strategies Podcast

[Podcast] Cover Crops Around the Globe

Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff shares insights on how growers use cover crops to retain moisture in the soil in Australia, managing soil erosion in Tasmania, observations on soil types and structure in France, and more. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff shares insights on how growers use cover crops to retain moisture in the soil in Australia, managing soil erosion in Tasmania, observations on soil types and structure in France, and more. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
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Cover Crops Strategies Podcast

[Podcast] Cash Crops and Cover Crops: Making It Work

Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff explains why growing two different species of crops—one cash crop and one cover crop--can be beneficial to your bottom line. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff explains why growing two different species of crops—one cash crop and one cover crop--can be beneficial to your bottom line. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
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USDA Launches Pilot Program for Prairie Pothole Producers Planting Cover Crops

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced a new pilot program that enables farmers in the Prairie Pothole region to receive payments for planting cover crops on their land for three to five years. The new Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Soil Health and Income Protection Program (SHIPP) pilot is available to producers in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.
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Cover Crops Strategies Podcast

[Podcast] Cover Crops Can Work Anywhere

Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff explains how to discuss with skeptical growers on why they should use covers, how to manage a controversial discussion, how economics fit into the conversation and more. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff explains how to discuss with skeptical growers on why they should use covers, how to manage a controversial discussion, how economics fit into the conversation and more. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
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Berseem Clover as a Cover Crop Improves Alfalfa Production

For alfalfa producers needing to renovate fields suffering from winterkill or looking to increase the quality and yield of this season’s hay crop, improved cover crop varieties are a viable solution. Take berseem clover, for example. The synergistic relationship between berseem clover and alfalfa make the legume an effective companion crop due to its rapid summer growth, notable nitrogen fixation and similar appearance.
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Cover Crops Strategies Podcast

[Podcast] Negotiating a Lease with Cover Crops

Negotiating with a landlord can be one of the most stressful conversations for a farmer, particularly if the landlord doesn’t show any interest or pushes back against the idea of using cover crops. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
Negotiating with a landlord can be one of the most stressful conversations for a farmer, particularly if the landlord doesn’t show any interest or pushes back against the idea of using cover crops. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
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Do Cover Crops Provide Economic Returns?

An agricultural economist and an agronomist walk into a room … and a point-counterpoint debate ensues. “Cover crops are time-consuming and don’t provide economic returns,” the economist says, pointing to a survey of farmers not currently using cover crops. Find out how the agronomist responds in this article from KMALand.
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Attend the 2020 National Strip-Tillage Conference

Join the most innovative, forward-thinking strip-till farmers, agronomists and researchers today at the 7th annual National Strip-Tillage Conference in Omaha, Neb., August 6-7, 2020. Discover practical cover cropping techniques and hundreds of proven ideas to boost your strip-till yields and save on input costs.

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