More Cover Crops, More Profit

After 4 days of intensive interest in no-till and cover crops at the mid-January 25th anniversary National No-Tillage Conference, it was encouraging to recognize interest in cover crops continues to grow.

The results of the recently released 2015-16 Cover Crop Survey, compiled by the Conservation Technology Information Center and Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education, confirm this. Data from over 2,000 growers, crop consultants and other ag professionals indicates cover crop usage continues to grow and is not impacted by commodity prices.

Profit Builders

Some 81% of surveyed growers have used cover crops. Nearly one-third believe cover crops have increased profitability compared to 6% who felt covers decreased in profits.

Some 35% of respondents were in a continuous no-till program while 17% did rotational no-tillage. Another 6% were doing vertical tillage, 23% reduced tillage and 19% were still doing conventional tillage.

Two-thirds felt cover crops play a key role in reducing yield variability with cash crops during extreme weather events.

Cereal rye was the leading cover crop species used, with 82% growers seeding it, followed by radishes and winter wheat.

Some 82% say cereal rye helped reduce weed problems and 26% say it improved control of troublesome herbicide-resistant weeds.

About 78% have increased their use of cover-crop mixes over the years. Only 5% have decreased the use of mixes.

Higher Yields

For the fourth year in a row, growers reported yield increases with both corn and soybeans following cover crops. Yields for corn grown after cover crops averaged 180.2 bushels per…

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