No-Till Your CRP Ground?

After Frank Martin talked about cover crops at last winter’s 12th annual National No-Tillage Conference, we discussed the idea of utilizing no-till and cover crops on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land to pump needed dollars back into rural communities.

The veteran no-tiller from Hallsville, Mo., maintains that CRP has had a very negative effect on rural communities. Instead of laying idle, much of the approximately 40 million CRP acres could be producing corn, soybeans, wheat and other crops to feed America’s people and livestock, to export grains to other countries and to produce ethanol and biodiesel fuels instead, he says.

“As a result of the present program, rural communities have lost hundreds of dollars per acre of economic activity,” says Martin. “Counties with a substantial percentage of CRP acres have seen businesses close and infrastructure suffer.”

When it comes to cropping practices, Martin is convinced that no-tilling CRP ground would sharply reduce erosion losses based on results from his own experiences. One of his ideas for getting CRP ground back into production would be waiting until after no-tilling corn or soybeans in the spring to kill a wheat or rye cover crops that’s up to 3 feet tall. Readily adaptable to cropping CRP ground, this idea would keep needed residue on the soil surface to soak up excessive moisture and provide much needed soil protection in these fields.

Two Primary Reasons.

The federal government’s CRP program was established more than a decade ago to ease the overproduction of U.S. farm…

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.

Lessiter frank

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan 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