Cover Crop Studies & Trials

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2015-2016 Cover Crop Survey

The fourth annual SARE/CTIC Cover Crop Survey collected data from 2,020 respondents from 48 states and the District of Columbia. Eighty-one percent described themselves as cover crop users. Their plantings of cover crops charted a steady rise since 2010, and projected plantings in the summer of 2016 were expected to continue the trend, despite a bearish agricultural economy. Farmers reported modest yield gains in both corn (1.9%) and soybeans (2.8%) following the use of cover crops and indicated that the popular practice of planting a cereal rye cover crop before soybeans had a positive effect on both yield and broadleaf weed control for most respondents. Respondents said the most important benefits of cover crops were improved soil health, reduced erosion, and increased soil organic matter.

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