2017 Cover Crop Survey Analysis Released

Photo Courtesy SARE

The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) has released the 2016-2017 Cover Crop survey

Cover Crops Boost Yields and Weed Control

Following the use of cover crops, farmers reported increased yields of corn, soybeans and wheat, and improvement in the control of herbicide-resistant weeds, according to a nationwide survey. In addition, the survey of 2,012 farmers showed acreage planted in cover crops has nearly doubled over the past five years.

Survey participants—88 percent of whom use cover crops—reported that after cover crops:

  • Corn yields increased an average of 2.3 bushels per acre, or 1.3 percent;
  • Soybean yields increased 2.1 bushels per acre, or 3.8 percent;
  • Wheat yields increased 1.9 bushels per acre, or 2.8 percent.

This marks the fifth consecutive year in which the survey reported yield increases in corn and soybeans following cover crops (find previous surveys at www.sare.org/covercropsurvey). It is the first year the survey team was able to calculate the impact of cover crops on wheat yields. The poll was conducted by the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) with help from Purdue University and funding support from SARE and the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA).

Download the full report.

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