Overall yield bump from cover crops, survey finds


Overall yield bump from cover crops, survey finds

Row crop farmers in the latest national cover crop survey saw an overall yield bump. Rob Myers is with the USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, “Not big differences in corn and wheat but still positive. The soybeans was more significant at 5% and that’s similar to what we’ve seen in the past. Soybean yields always seem to run a little bit better after cover crops than corn.”

Myers says that doesn’t mean all farmers who used cover crops in 2019 had increased yields, “Certainly, there are farmers that may have a yield loss if they’re doing corn after cereal rye, for example, and maybe have some nitrogen tie up.”

Despite the challenging rainfall last year, more than 90% of farmers participating in the survey said cover crops allowed them to plant earlier or at the same time as non-cover-cropped fields. Just over half of farmers who seeded cash crops into growing cover crops said that helped them plant earlier than on other fields.