Survey Shows Farmers Who Value Soil Health More Likely to Rotate Crops, Integrate Grazing
|Related ATTRA Publication:
Integrating Livestock and Crops: Improving Soil, Solving Problems, Increasing Income
A survey of producers in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Nebraska examined why some agricultural producers prioritize soil health and how to encourage more producers to adopt conservation practices, reports South Dakota State University. The project is part of a four-year, NIFA-funded project evaluating integrated crop and livestock management systems. Almost 38% of the 672 farmers who responded to this survey reported using diversified crop rotation plans, while 71% were grazing livestock on croplands. However, only 28% of the respondents indicated that they used both methods to improve soil health. The survey also assessed what might motivate farmers to begin integrating livestock grazing on cropland. They found that cash incentives would encourage farmers to adopt an integrated system, and that farmers would chose an integrated system over a third or fourth crop in rotation.