Four types of cover crops, including annual rye, oilseed radish, crimson clover and rapeseed, are being seeded into wheat stubble. (Photo by Dianne Johnson, USDA NRCS)
West Lafayette, IN (March 1, 2023) - A national survey launched today to gather insight from farmers who plant cover crops, as well as farmers who don't. Farmers are encouraged to access the National Cover Crop Survey online at bit.ly/CoverCrop23. The anonymous survey typically takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Your insight will help guide research, communications, seed development, and more.
This is the seventh National Cover Crop Survey conducted by the USDA-NIFA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) and the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA). It is open to farmers of any crop.
"Since 2012, the National Cover Crop Survey has been extremely valuable in helping guide research priorities, direct communications and education efforts, provide data to researchers, and illustrate the effects of policy on cover crop use and adoption," says Dr. Rob Myers, regional director of extension programs for North Central SARE and director of the University of Missouri Center for Regenerative Agriculture. "Data from previous surveys have been used in scientific papers, business planning, extension efforts, media coverage of cover crops, and even included in testimony to Congress."
At CTIC, executive director Ryan Heiniger points out that insights from farmers who do not plant cover crops are important to the project.
"We are just as interested in why farmers have chosen not to plant cover crops as we are in why other farmers choose to plant them," Heiniger says. "Hearing both perspectives is vital to understanding where cover crops are a good fit for economic and environmental goals, identifying barriers and concerns, and developing information that will help farmers succeed with cover crops in the future. We would love to see great participation from both users and non-users in this year's survey."
At ASTA, president and CEO Andy LaVigne adds that survey results help ensure the seed industry is prepared to meet farmer demand for cover crop seed varieties.
"Seed producers are very interested in learning which species of cover crops growers are interested in, as well as how they are being used," LaVigne says. "Many of our members look to the results of this survey as they shape their breeding and planting programs, so the effects of these surveys can be felt for years."
Survey answers are anonymous. Participating farmers can request more information on cover crops at the end of the survey. They can also opt in to be included in a drawing for one of three $100 Visa gift cards. Visit bit.ly/CoverCrop23 to take the survey.
The Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) is a national non-profit that brings together farmers, policy makers, regulators, academic researchers, agribusiness leaders, conservation group personnel, farm media and others. CTIC connects, champions and informs its members, partners and the general public in support of sustainable agricultural systems and technologies that are productive, profitable and preserve natural resources. CTIC is supported in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, farm commodity groups, agribusiness companies, and conservation organizations. Visit www.ctic.org and follow on Twitter (@ctic_tweet), Facebook and LinkedIn.