"Cover Crops, A Farming Revolution with Deep Roots in the Past"
Stephanie Strom, New York Times
The biological and financial benefits that come with cover cropping validate CFFP’s current Market Research on the similar practice of rotational cropping, and suggest that we are looking in the right direction.
Cover crops are taking off in the Corn Belt, symbolizing a fundamental shift away from input-heavy industrial farming. Numerous industrial family farms now plant combinations of non-cash crops between seasons including turnips, millet, barley, clover, hairy vetch, sunflower, and more. Biological benefits of cover cropping include natural soil aeration, reduced erosion, carbon sequestration, nutrient replenishment, and improved beneficial insect, fungi, and microorganism populations. Cover cropping generally improves yields, eliminates need for fertilizer, and often reduces pesticide use. Overall, farmers estimate a net economic benefit of $244,000 or just over $69/acre – and this does not take into account potential income from value-added market for the cover crops themselves, especially grains.
As part of its own research, CFFP regularly illuminates educative research, media, and resources related to our work. This page contains public versions of our synopses.