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

Resiliency Despite Extreme Weather

The record wet year in 2019 left many acres in South Dakota unsuitable for planting, but on Doug Sieck's cropland near Selby, South Dakota, he was able to plant every acre he wanted to. He attributes that to decades of no till management and the years of cover cropping that have helped build healthy soil. Read more in this article from the Aberdeen News.
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Pennycress Could Add Profitability

At a time when farmers are urgently seeking ways to maximize profit in their corn-soybean rotations, university researchers in Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota and Wisconsin, along with a startup company in Missouri, are working to develop pennycress into a crop that could give farmers more dollars. The effort involves enhancing pennycress’ characteristics to make it a better oilseed for fuel, a more palatable feed for livestock and a viable cover crop that Midwest farmers can sandwich between corn harvest and soybean planting. Read more in this article from the Rock Island Dispatch-Argus.
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Iowa Study Shows Monetizing Cover Crops Pays Off

While many farmers add cover crops with the goal to improve soil health, some participants in an Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) study are turning cover crops into new business opportunities. Capturing profit opportunities could result in expanded cover crop use in the state, the study showed. Read more in this article from the Iowa Soybean Association.
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Survey Seeks Growers Who Use Cover Crops in the West

University researchers and the Western Cover Crops Council are conducting a survey of western farmers to improve understanding of cover crop use throughout the U.S. West. The survey results will provide valuable feedback on current use of cover crops in the west, future outreach and research needs to expand use, and inform federal cover crop incentive programs to better serve farmers.
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Cover Crops Strategies Podcast

[Podcast] Cover Crops & Crop Insurance

In this week’s podcast, crop insurance expert and Wisconsin farmer Ryan Stockwell with the National Wildlife Federation discusses why crop insurance regulations are outdated, why crop insurance eligibility rules are unfavorable to cover crops, how crop insurance will be evolving, and more. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
In this week’s podcast, crop insurance expert and Wisconsin farmer Ryan Stockwell with the National Wildlife Federation discusses why crop insurance regulations are outdated, why crop insurance eligibility rules are unfavorable to cover crops, how crop insurance will be evolving, and more. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
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Tool Available to Help with Prevent Plant Decisions

North Dakota State University Extension has developed a spreadsheet to help farmers make informed prevented-planting decisions. "Producers in North Dakota are waiting for fields to dry out so they can start field work and crop planting," says Andrew Swenson, NDSU Extension farm management specialist.
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Controlling Voles in Cover Crops

Voles or field mice populations are increasing due to a mild winter. They predominate in no-till and/or cover crop fields but are also common in tilled fields. Read more in this article from the Delphos Herald (Delphos, Ohio).
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Will the Pandemic Increase Cover Crop Use?

We need to hear more about eating nutritious food loaded with vitamins and minerals so we can naturally protect ourselves and resist COVID-19, or other viruses that will emerge at some point. And that’s where cover crops come in. You may be thinking that I’m trying to exploit this current crisis and my bias to the use of cover crops, but indeed there is a connection between the use of cover crops and human health. Read more in this article from Lancaster Farming.
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Add Trees to Cover Crops for More Carbon Farming

Anecdotally, the United States Department of Agriculture sees a tiny but growing number of silvopasture farms, while other methods that suck greenhouse gases from the air—collectively known as carbon farming—are experiencing greater resurgences. Cover crops, typically sown in the offseason and left in fields to decompose, are also rising in popularity. Read more in this article from Popular Science magazine.
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Attend the 2020 Virtual 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 being held 100% online, August 6-8, 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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