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Are cover crops being used in the US corn belt

Permanent URL:
http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/9910
File:
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Abstract:
The benefits of using cover crops are well established, but adoption in agronomic farming systems is unknown. The objectives of this study were to quantify cover crop use and identify factors associated with their adoption. A mail survey was sent to 3,500 farmers in the US corn belt (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Minnesota) to quantify farming practices and cover crop use. An estimated 18% of farmers have used cover crops, including 11% who planted cover crops sometime in the last five years, and 8% who planted cover crops in the fall of 2005. In the fall of 2005, farmers who used cover crops planted them on 6% of the land area for the average size farm. Logistic regression results indicated that crop diversity in a farm operation was the most consistent and important factor related to the use of cover crops. Corn belt farmers believe that cover crops are most effective at reducing soil erosion (96%) and increasing soil organic matter (74%). Approximately 56% of farmers indicated that they would plant cover crops if cost-sharing was available. The mean minimum payment required as an incentive to plant cover crops would be approximately $56.81 ha-1 ($23 ac-1).
Author(s):
Singer, J.W. , Nusser, S.M. , Alf, C.J.
Note:
Includes references
Source:
Journal of soil and water conservation 2007 Sept-Oct, v. 62, no. 5
Language:
English
Year:
2007
Collection:
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
Rights:
Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.