2012-2013 Cover Crop Survey

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and CTIC conducted the first cover crop user survey. More than 750 farmers from across the U.S. completed the survey, representing hundreds of thousands of acres of cover crops and drawing on cover cropping experience that goes back as far as 1948. The 2012 crop year was a challenging one in which to study yield impacts – much of the U.S. was impacted by drought, which pushed national per-acre corn production estimates down by 43.7 bushels, or 26.3%, and reduced soybean production by 8.1%, or 4.0 bushels per acre, based on early-season predictions from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. However, even in those conditions – or perhaps because of them – the survey revealed a positive impact of cover crops on yield.