Conquering Cover Crop Challenges
Topic: Soil Health
Fifteen on-farm demonstration trials across the nation are partnering with AFT to test innovative solutions that will help overcome regional and crop-specific barriers to cover crop adoption.
The project goal is to support the ecological health of the Great Lakes while sustaining a viable agricultural economy and communities.
The Illinois Cover Crop Initiative is a new program available for farmers who intend to plant cover crops following their 2022 cash crop. Farmers can receive $10 per acre for cover crops planted by December 1, 2022, even if they have planted cover crops before!
Cover crops are a tremendously important practice for improving soil health and reducing nitrogen and phosphorus pollution to waterways. Illinois has taken an important step toward meeting its nutrient loss reduction goals by funding the Fall Covers for Spring Savings Program in the Illinois budget.
Abby Clarke and Jonathan Hayden operate Winter Street Farm, where they are using regenerative agriculture practices to grow sustainably. They used the funds from their New England Farmer Microgrants Program award to purchase a flail mower to continue expanding their no-till operation.
Lincoln Fishman and his partner, Hilary Costa, operate Sawyer Farm as an organic, horse-powered, no-till farm. They were awarded a 2020 New England Farmer Microgrant, which they used to purchase equipment to expand their on-farm production.
Learn more about AFT’s policy recommendations for California to protect vital agricultural land, promote environmentally sound growing practices, and keep farmers on the land for generations.
Rapid adoption of cover cropping and no-till in the next three to five years can reduce net greenhouse gas, or GHG, emissions by 97 million metric tons of CO2e per year—the equivalent to removing 21 million passenger cars from the road for a year or to growing 1.6 billion tree seedlings for one year.
Lorie Ames participated in AFT’s New York Soil Health Specialist training to improve her work with farmers.
This project aims to help crop farmers who supply feed to Danone’s North American dairies build holistic soil health management systems across the project area.