Cover cropping is the practice of planting non-cash crops, typically after a cash crop has been harvested, in order to improve soil health and fertility. While this practice has been used for centuries, it has gained renewed attention in recent years as a sustainable and regenerative farming practice that offers numerous benefits to both the environment and farmers.
For farmers, cover cropping presents an opportunity to increase their yields and reduce input costs. By planting cover crops, farmers can improve soil health and fertility, leading to healthier crops and higher yields. Cover crops also help to prevent soil erosion, which can reduce the need for costly erosion control measures such as terracing and contour farming. Moreover, cover crops can also reduce input costs by reducing the need for fertilizers, herbicides and other expensive additives and amendments. As cover crops suppress weeds and promote soil health, farmers may need to use fewer amendments to maintain healthy crops. In addition, cover crops can help to reduce water usage as they retain moisture in the soil and prevent runoff.
For the soil, cover cropping offers numerous benefits as well. Cover crops help to improve soil structure, increase soil organic matter, and promote soil biodiversity. They also help to prevent nutrient leaching and reduce soil compaction, leading to improved soil health and fertility. Additionally, cover crops can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by sequestering carbon in the soil.
Cover cropping offers a multitude of benefits to both farmers and the soil by improving soil health and fertility, reducing input costs, and promoting sustainable agriculture practices. Cover cropping presents an opportunity for farmers to improve their yields and increase profitability. For the soil, cover cropping offers numerous benefits that help to improve soil health and biodiversity, reduce GHG emissions, and promote regenerative land use practices.
Download the Infographic