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National Cover Crop Survey Documents Benefits and Expanded Acreage

Results of the sixth National Cover Crop Survey have been released by the Conservation Technology Innovation Center (CTIC), USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, and the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA). More than 90% of farmers participating in the survey reported that cover crops allowed them to plant earlier or at the same time as non-cover-cropped fields. Among those who had “planted green,” seeding cash crops into growing cover crops, 54% said the practice helped them plant earlier than on other fields. Of these farmers who planted green, 71% reported better weed control and 68% said soil moisture management improved. And despite the record-setting wet spring, yields after cover crops increased 5% in soybeans, 2% in corn, and 2.6% in spring wheat. The 2019-2020 survey included perspectives from 1,172 farmers, representing every state. The full report of survey results is available online