Challenges to increasing cover crops

An article on today’s Wallaces Farmer website, “Challenges To Increasing Cover Crops,” reports on the attitudes toward adding cover crops to farmers’ crop rotations. The Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll posed questions about cover crops in the 2010 poll. conducted by J. Gordon Arbuckle and Paul Lasley, ISU Extension and Outreach sociologists.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has been conducting research on the agronomic and environmental benefits of cover crops. Iowa Learning Farms along with Practical Farmers of Iowa have formed a cover crop working group with 10 farmers across the state who are demonstrating cover crop usage on their farms.

From the article: “Most farmers understand that cover crops can have important agronomic and environmental benefits,” Arbuckle says, “But they also view climatic factors such as a short window between harvest and winter as major barriers to their use. Many farmers also report that they lack the knowledge and equipment to use cover crops.”

Read the entire article here.

There are many resources to learn about cover crops, some of which are indicated below.

Iowa Learning Farms how-to DVD “Adding a Cover Crop to a Corn-Soybean Rotation”

Iowa Learning Farms website

Practical Farmers of Iowa “Cover Crops” webpage

Iowa Cover Crops Working Group

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