As cover crops continue to gain popularity among farmers, Soil Health Partnership (an initiative of the National Corn Growers Association) is doubling down on talking about the practice’s many potential benefits.
“Through our long-term data collection on real working farms, we hope to demonstrate to farmers that healthy soil is also more productive soil, and can do things like improve yields over time,” according to Elyssa McFarland, Eastern Iowa SHP field manager.
Those benefits can include:
1. Erosion prevention.
2. Restoring organic matter.
3. Improved soil structure and soil pores.
4. Weed suppression.
5. Nutrient storage.
6. Biodiversity, including potential wildlife habitat.
On the fence? Start small, McFarland recommends.
“You don’t have to cover your entire farm,” she says. “Just start in a small area that you feel your soils could be most improved. Have a goal.”
SHP is hosting a series of field days through early September – check here for locations and to register.