The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) programme of the US Department of Agriculture has recently released the findings of their 2019-2020 National Cover Crop Survey. The survey includes perspectives from 1,172 farmers in the United States.
Here are some interesting findings from the report:
Area under cover crops
According to the survey, the area under cover crops increased with 38% over the past four years.
Yield increases and cost savings
According to Rob Myers, Regional Director of Extension Programs for North Central SARE, “many farmers are finding that cover crops improve the resiliency of their soil, and the longer they use cover crops, the greater the yield increases and the cost savings that producers reported”. Producers growing soybeans, maize, wheat and cotton reported the following savings:
- Soybeans – 41% saved on herbicide costs and 41% on fertilizer costs
- Maize – 39% saved on herbicide costs and 49% on fertilizer costs
- Wheat – 32% saved on herbicide costs and 43% on fertilizer costs
- Cotton – 71% saved on herbicide costs and 53% on fertilizer costs.
Download the full report
The full report can be downloaded here. Survey reports from past years are at www.sare.org/covercropsurvey.