Cover Crops

2013-2014 Cover Crop Survey

Sustainable Agriculture Resaerch and Education (SARE) program and CTIC conducted a national survey of farmers to learn more about their use of cover crops. More than 1,900 farmers completed the survey, which was a follow-up to a smaller survey in 2012-2013 (see below). Results show a yield boost from the use of cover crops in corn and soybeans, data on the costs of seed and establishment, the challenges and benefits farmers expect from cover crops and insight into how farmers learn to manage cover crops. Read the full report. See the news release for highlights.

Let's do the math on cover crops.

Help CTIC pencil out the economic and environmental benefits of cover crops through the "Economic, Agronomic and Environmental Benefits of Cover Crops" project. Below, sign up for our cover crops mailing list or let us know that you are interested in working with us.
For more information on the project, check out our project webpage.


Helping People, Land and Water: The Cover Crop Story

What do farms, water quality and the Great Lakes have in common? They all are helped by cover crops. Through the Great Lakes Cover Crop Initiative, CTIC and partners planted 36,970 acres of cover crops, providing many benefits to farmers in the Great Lakes region. Hear from three farmers in the Great Lakes basin, a researcher on Lake Erie and a Michigan State University Extension educator as they present "The Cover Crop Story."

2012-2013 Cover Crop Survey

In conjunction with USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, CTIC conducted a cover crop user survey. The results of the 2012-2013 survey can be found here.

Cover Crops - An Essential Tool for Sustainable Cropping Systems

The use of cover crops is steadily increasing throughout the United States. Many no-till farmers consider cover crops to be the next step in conservation agriculture.

Leaving the soil undisturbed and keeping something growing as many days as possible restores the natural cycles of the soils. Residues and roots create more organic matter in the soils. Increased organic matter serves as a food source to various soil organisms and increases the biological activity. Higher biological activity increases nutrient cycling and availability and also reduces nutrient loss due to run off. With all this activity, soil structure and tilth are improved, increasing infiltration rates and reducing compaction. 

Click here to see the benefits of implementing cover crops.

Cropping Decisions Survey Summary with Howard G Buffet Foundation and CTIC