Farmers Say Cover Crops Are On 40 Percent of Cropland

A new USDA survey says cover crops are more popular than first thought. Growers who responded to the survey say they’re using cover crops on 40 percent of their cropland in 2022. Successful Farming says that hints at a sizable increase from the 15.4 million acres of cover crops listed in the 2017 Census of Agriculture.

The USDA’s Conservation Practice Adoption Motivations 2021 Report says a large number of farmers, 59 percent, use cover crops on their farms. That’s from a survey of 34,000 farmers that ran from May through September. Farmers say they used cover crops on 40 percent of their cropland.

Earlier this month, the Ag Economy Barometer, which surveys large-scale farmers, said 57 percent of respondents used cover crops on at least some of their land, a jump up from 52 percent in 2021. Half of those farmers say they sowed cover crops on 25 percent or less of their land.