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Cover Crop Adoption in Iowa: The Role of Perceived Practice Characteristics

Cover crops are widely viewed by the soil and water conservation community to be an effective means for reducing soil erosion and nutrient loss and increasing soil health, yet relatively few farmers have adopted the practice. Despite the widespread recognition of cover crops’ benefits and increased promotional efforts, there have been very few peer-reviewed studies focused on farmer perspectives on or adoption of cover crops. This study, which analyzed data from a survey and in-depth interviews with Iowa farmers, examined the roles that perceived practice characteristics, perspectives on potential facilitating factors, and crop and livestock diversity play in cover crop adoption among Iowa farmers.

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