Farmer-led effort seeks to expand cover crop acres to 30 million by 2030

A commodity partnership is leading an effort to strengthen conservation practices by establishing 30 million acres of cover crops by the end of the decade.

“I think we’re going to blow by that goal, I really do. There’s lots of interest.”

John Johnson with Farmers for Soil Health says it’s a farmer led, farmer funded initiative. “This isn’t EPA saying doing this. This isn’t NRCS suggesting we do it. It’s not an environmental doing it,” Johnson says.  “This is the farm community’s own organizations that represent their interest that are saying let’s pursue this path, executing these practices as we continue our efforts on continuous improvement on our suitability journey.”

The United Soybean Board, National Corn Growers Association and the National Pork Board signed a partnership with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to provide a $1 million grant for technical assistance. It will be provided to 20 state-participating commodity groups including: Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, South Dakota, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio.

Johnson tells Brownfield the goal is to advance soil health through cover crops. “Improves your organic matter, improves soil permeability, improves soil water holding capacity, improves soil health and long term, I think, helps reduce input costs and preserve yields in climate-extreme weather events.”

The partnership was announced at the 2022 Commodity Classic.

John Johnson:

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