There are several reasons for the high adoption rate
Michigan farmers are embracing cover crops in a big way, says Michigan State University ag extension specialist Paul Gross.
Reporting on the university’s IPM website, Gross cites figures from the 2017 Census of Agriculture to show there were more than 670,000 acres of cover crops planted across the state in 2017. That’s a 54 per cent increase over five years and makes Michigan the eighth highest state for cover crop adoption in the U.S.
“The significant growth in cover crops acreage is contributing to rebuilding Michigan’s soil health and protecting its waters,” Gross notes. “Continuing and accelerating this growth will take coordinated efforts between farmers, researchers, educators, partner organizations and agencies.”
Gross believes there are several reasons for the high adoption rate, including increasing interest in soil health, its benefits for cropping systems, soil productivity, performance and resilience under extreme weather conditions.
He also credits ongoing research into cover crop agronomics for helping farmers become more comfortable with these crops.