Cover crops offer a wide range of benefits to farmers, from erosion control to soil building to capturing nutrients and holding them in the root zone over the winter. As interest in cover crops continues to grow, it’s important to understand the trends, opportunities, and challenges surrounding these important tools. Insight from farmers who use cover crops — or from those who haven’t yet made the move — is vital for fellow farmers, as well as for crop advisors, conservation specialists, and policymakers.
An online survey, which can be found here, is gathering perspective on cover crops from farmers and crop advisors nationwide. This is the sixth cover crop survey by USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC), and the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA).
The questionnaire takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Participants who complete the survey can enter a drawing for Visa gift cards worth $100 and $200.
SARE, CTIC and ASTA say they are seeking insights not just from long-time cover crop users, but also from farmers with little or no experience with cover crops.
“In past years, the SARE/CTIC/ASTA Cover Crop Survey has been used by conservation district and agency personnel, farm suppliers, researchers, and policymakers to guide resources into research, communications and policy around cover crops,” says Mike Smith, project director for CTIC. The report has even been cited in Congressional testimony.