Cover Crops: Economics

Cover Crops: Economics

Cover Crops: Economics

Cover crops can improve the bottom line in many ways, by reducing fertilizer needs, lowering weed and pest pressure, improving yields and more.

Organic Fertilizer and Cover Crop Calculator


This free online tool compares the nutrient value and cost of cover crops, organic and synthetic fertilizers and compost. Use this Excel Calculator to develop well balanced and cost effective nutrient management programs for your farm.

Winter Rye Cover Crop Effect on Cash Crop Yields


Cover Crops are an important addition to any farming system to improve soil quality and decrease soil erosion or nutrient loss. Cover crops are normally planted without the intention of a direct harvest. Rather, they are planted for the multiple benefits they provide to the farmer and the environment. In Iowa, cover crops are usually planted into standing corn or soybean crops or are planted after grain harvest. Farmers are concerned that a winter rye cover crop could negatively impact their cash crop yields. 

In this research report from Practical Farmers of Iowa, fall cover crop impacts on corn and soybean yields are summarized.

Download File (868.57 kB)

Cover Crops in Soybean Rotations


If you are a soybean farmer who plants or is thinking about planting cover crops in your rotation, or are a CCA/agronomist who is expanding cover crop services to soybean farmers, this publication has been written for you.

Download File (1.16 MB)

Also, visit SARE's database for reports on these research projects:

Dig deeper into cover crops research: SARE has funded hundreds of research and education projects related to cover crops since 1988. This topic room features only a glimpse into SARE's entire portfolio of cover crop research. To discover more, visit SARE's database of projects and conduct full text or advanced keyword searches.


Cover Crop Innovators Series

Watch 10 short videos of innovative Midwestern farmers describing how they have successfully added cover crops to their cash crop rotations. Learn more.


Farmers Say Cover Crops Work

SARE-CTIC CC Survey Report Cover

From increasing yield to improving soil health, find out why farmers use cover crops. For three years, SARE and partner organizations have conducted a national survey of farmers on their experiences with cover crops.

2012-2013 Survey: Summary and report (PDF).

2013-2014 Survey: Summary and report (PDF).

2014-2015 Survey: Summary and report (PDF).

Are you an ag educator or farmer interested in sharing the Cover Crop Topic Room at an event? Consider using this one-page flyer (PDF) or the four-page topic brief, Cover Crops for Sustainable Crop Rotations.