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

Indiana Sets New State Cover Crop Record

According to a recent conservation survey, Indiana farmers have set a conservation record this year by planting an estimated 1.5 million acres of overwinter living covers, the largest amount ever recorded by an Indiana Conservation Partnership survey. Read more in this article from WBIW.
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What Do Farmers Think About Covers?

A report from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture noted that just 2 percent to 8 percent of the cropland acres examined in the 20-county study had been planted with cover crops – a telling number that could be difficult to budge because of the state’s climate and few markets for crops like hazelnuts and turnips that can be grown during the winter. Read more in this article from Minnpost.
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Are Cover Crop Incentive Payments Needed?

President Joe Biden’s proposal to pay U.S. farmers to plant cover crops and sequester carbon in the soil is both needed and necessary. That’s according to Dr. Paul Mitchell, professor of agricultural and applied economics at UW-Madison. Read more in this article from The Star News (Medford, WI).
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Using Cover Crops as Forage for Livestock

There are costs associated with establishment and termination of cover crops, and oftentimes the economic returns are slowly recaptured, if measurable at all. One way to quickly recoup the cost of cover crops is to use them as an annual forage for livestock. Read more in this article from Hay & Forage Grower.
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Carbon Markets 101

To boil it down, a farm business or forest owner that grows crops or owns trees that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and return it to the soil can be paid by an electricity generator, manufacturing, or consumer product business that emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The transaction is a method of offsetting what we know of as “greenhouse gas emissions.” Read more in this article from the Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, KY).
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Groff

Successfully Managing & Marketing a No-Till Hemp System

Get starter tips and learn what mistakes to avoid from Pennsylvania no-tiller Steve Groff at the National No-Tillage Conference Summer Intensive, June 23-24.
The hemp industry has been booming in the U.S. and has long-term promise as an alternative crop. But hemp is a lot different than traditional row crops and there’s a learning curve when it comes to seeding practices, genetics, harvest methods or dealing with the legal requirements, says Steve Groff.
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Benchmark Study 1

Seeding the Promise & Potential of Cover Crop Adoption

The second-annual Cover Crop Benchmark Study found that most growers have only used covers for less than 5 years, though average acres covered are up year-over-year.
More and more growers are seizing the numerous benefits that cover crops can provide. Growers are also finding additional ways to make cover crops put more money in their pockets. The results of the second annual Cover Crop Benchmark Study support both statements.
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Attend the 2021 National Strip-Tillage Conference

Discover cutting-edge ideas, techniques and strategies from the most innovative, forward-thinking minds in strip-till to raise your level of strip-till profitability, efficiency and efficacy. The 2021 National Strip-Tillage Conference, Aug. 5-6, in Omaha, Neb., offers a mix of thought-provoking general sessions featuring top experts; profit-boosting Strip-Till Classrooms led by strip-till authorities, and interactive farmer-to-farmer Strip-Till Roundtables.

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