first_imgEarlier this year, ASA assisted the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) in the promotion of a survey to analyze farmers’ use and perceptions of cover crops. For the second year in a row, the national survey documented a yield boost from the use of cover crops in soybeans and corn, as well as a wide variety of other benefits. The survey, funded by the North Central Regional Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension (SARE) program and carried out by CTIC, also provides details on the challenges and benefits farmers expect from cover crops, data on the costs of seed and establishment, and insights into how farmers manage cover crops. ASA President Ray Gaesser (IA) serves on SARE’s National Working Group for Cover Crops and Soil Health.A total of 1,924 respondents—both users and non-users of cover crops—completed the survey in the winter of 2013-2014. Included in this total, 583 farmers compared yields in soybeans between fields with and without cover crops. Following cover crops, farmers reported an average boost of two bushels of soybeans per acre, or 4.3 percent. Of the total, 639 farmers provided data comparing corn yields on fields with and without cover crops. They noted an average yield increase of five bushels per acre, or 3.1 percent, in corn fields planted after cover crops. The survey results also show that between 2010 and 2013, the adoption of cover crops increased by 30 percent per year.Click here to read a summary of the survey results. The complete report is available here.last_img read more