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While there are plenty of companies who are making cover crop seed available, many no-tillers who are cost conscious, having supply issues or want to diversify their farm income are raising their own cover crop seed.
While they’re often limited to raising small grains like cereal rye, wheat, barley or triticale, some no-tillers are reporting significant savings by raising their own seed. And for others, it’s turned into a profitable on-farm enterprise.
A recent survey by Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI), distributed to PFI members every 3 years, concluded that 14% of all members reported raising cover crop seed on their farm, says Sarah Carlson, PFI’s Midwest cover crop director.
Richard Sloan, who no-tills corn and soybeans in Buchanan County, Iowa, has been seeding his own cover crops for a few years, after an NRCS district conservationist convinced him to sign up for a 5-year program that required him to plant 20 acres of small grains.
The contract expires this year and although he may let some of his rented land go, he wants to do another contract as it helps him with…