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

Do Cover Crops Really Pay Off?

After a year of difficult weather and low commodity prices, farmers everywhere are cutting back on costs. At the Conservation Tillage Conference (CTC) in December, many growers looked at the economics of reduced tillage/no-till and cover crops, and whether or not those management practices really pay off.
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Economic Impact of Cover Crops

If you raise corn and soybeans, cover cropping could help you increase profits, but not right away, according to Rob Myers, regional director of Extension programs for the USDA-NIFA North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. Myers is with University of Missouri. He presented “The Bottom Line with Cover Crops: Evaluating Their Economic Impact on Corn and Soybean Production” as a recent webinar hosted by Purdue University Center for Food and Agriculture Business, Cornell University Cooperative Extension, American Farmland Trust, Wood Soil & Water Conservation District and IPM Institute.
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Alabama Farmer Cashes in on Carbon

Deep in west Alabama, in a part of the state where most economic activity grows up from the ground, one woman is hoping to get paid for what she’s putting back into the soil. Aliceville farmer Annie Dee, who runs the Dee River Ranch in Pickens County, is one of a growing number of farmers who are signed up to get paid to sequester carbon in the soil using what are being called regenerative farm techniques.
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Shifting Ideas on Cover Crops in Western Canada

When Yvonne Lawley wrote her research proposal for a study of cover crops, she was specific about the wording of the title: Testing the cover crop hypothesis across Prairie Canada. It’s the word “hypothesis” that grabs you. What could be theoretical about cover crops? Some farmers have been using them for decades to help build soil, reduce erosion, graze animals and more. The practice is common in Ontario and Quebec, as well as in the Northern Great Plains region of the U.S. What’s not to know?
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Illinois Will Reach Cover Crop Goal in 200 Years

Illinois is still two centuries away from hitting towards its goal of planting enough cover crops to make a significant dent in its nutrient pollution problem in waterways. That's according to a coalition of environmental groups responding to the state's recently-released biennial Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy report.
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Cover Crops Strategies Podcast

[Podcast] Learning From Cover Crop Failures

Like all aspects of farming, growing cover crops doesn’t always go as intended. Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff says that how cover croppers react to failure is critical for learning and doing better the next time. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
Like all aspects of farming, growing cover crops doesn’t always go as intended. Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff says that how cover croppers react to failure is critical for learning and doing better the next time. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
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Cover Crops Strategies Podcast

[Podcast] Get Double Benefits with Cover Crops as Forages

Many cover crop species can be used as forage while also providing soil health benefits, says Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff, including hay, baleage and grazing. The type of cover crops to plant depends on your ultimate goal for those cover crops, as that goal can affect seeding rates, planting dates, and fertility. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
Many cover crop species can be used as forage while also providing soil health benefits, says Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff, including hay, baleage and grazing. The type of cover crops to plant depends on your ultimate goal for those cover crops, as that goal can affect seeding rates, planting dates, and fertility. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
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Cover Crops Strategies Podcast

[Podcast] Planting Cover Crops After Small Grain Harvest

Typically, double cropping done after small grains is planting soybeans in wheat stubble, but not always, says Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
Typically, double cropping done after small grains is planting soybeans in wheat stubble, but not always, says Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
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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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