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AFT works to increase cover crops on rented lands

Photo courtesy Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

It’s estimated that 40 percent of Midwest farmland is rented or leased—and that’s been a barrier to increased planting of cover crops, according to Brian Brandt with American Farmland Trust.

“Conservation practices can require additional investments by either the landowner or the farmer,” Brandt says, “and just because the land is rented, we don’t have as many conservation practices implemented or installed on those acres.”

So, Brandt says, AFT is working to “foster conversations” between farmers and landowners about the economic and environmental benefits of cover crops and other conservation practices.

“By the farmers that we’ve done case studies with, when you look at the suite of practices that does include cover crops, on average the farmers have been able to increase their net incomes by a little over 40 dollars per acre,” he says.

Brownfield interviewed Brandt at the recent Nebraska Cover Crops and Soil Health Conference.

AUDIO: Brian Brandt

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