No-Tillers Continuing Their Cover Crop Investment

Cover Crop Strategies’ exclusive benchmark study finds more growers dedicated to covers, reducing conventional tillage.

Pictured Above: GREENING UP. More farmers using cover crops are delaying termination and maximizing the payoff they’re seeing with nutrient sequestration, erosion prevention and improved soil health

In the 2nd Annual Cover Crop Benchmark Study published by Cover Crop Strategies, editors found that growers have remained relatively consistent in the management practices, motivations, challenges and expenses of their cover crop programs. 

But one important change has been growth in conservation practices. Of the 400-plus farmers who participated in the 53-question survey, more are practicing no-till and strip-till, and they’re dedicating more acres to cover crops, perhaps due to an increase in incentive payments.

Covers Grow, Tillage Shrinks

The number of growers seeding cover crops to a greater acreage grew in 2020 from 2019. While the majority (48%) seeded cover crops on less than 300 acres, that number was down 7 percentage points from 55%. 

The second-largest percent of growers (15%) seeded cover crops to at least 1,000 acres in 2020 — a 3-point increase from 2019. 

5 Key Findings from 2021 Benchmark Study

  1. More farmers are delaying cover crop termination.
  2. Cover cropped acreage staying small.
  3. Half of farmers responding are getting incentive payments.
  4. Most farmers say erosion prevention is a maximum benefit of covers.
  5. Cereal rye, radish and oat are still the most popular species.

Another 12% seeded them…

To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all No-Till Farmer content and archives online. Learn more about the different versions and what is included.

Laura allen

Laura Barrera

Laura Barrera is the former managing editor of No-Till Farmer and Conservation Tillage Guide magazines. Prior to joining No-Till Farmer, she served as an assistant editor for a greenhouse publication. Barrera holds a B.A. in magazine journalism from Ball State University.

Top Articles

Current Issue


No-Till Farmer

Get full access NOW to the most comprehensive, powerful and easy-to-use online resource for no-tillage practices. Just one good idea will pay for your subscription hundreds of times over.

Subscribe Now

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings