Cover crops can improve the bottom line in many ways, by reducing fertilizer needs, lowering weed and pest pressure, improving yields and more.
Cover crops can build soil health, control weeds, conserve moisture, provide grazing opportunities and more. But when do they start to pay for themselves? This analysis looks at the economics behind different management scenarios to determine if cover crops are likely to improve profitability in one, three or five years of use in corn and soybean rotations. Download File (3.74 MB) | Online Text Version
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.
Also, visit SARE’s database for reports on these research projects:
- Optimization of Corn Production Following Legume Green Manures (2008, Wisconsin)
- Evaluating Winter Crops for the Environment and for Profit [on dairy farms] (2005, Ohio)
- Managing Cover Crop and Conservation Tillage Systems to Enhance Vegetable Crop Yields, Economic Returns and Environmental Quality (2004, Oregon)
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.