Agronomist touts economic, environmental benefits of cover crops

A conservation agronomist says cover crops have helped some farmers improve profitability.

Ryan Johnson with the Iowa Soybean Association says cover crops can offset higher costs by reducing inputs and increasing cash crop yield.

“Interest rates are going up and that really has an effect,” he said. “Maintaining yields while having less expenses is going to be more and more of a necessity, especially if prices go the other way.”

Johnson tells Brownfield he raises cover crops on his farm in northwest Iowa and has seen positive economic impacts.

“We showed a $75 profitability on 40 acres in the first year,” he said. “It was a really good success story for us.”

He says they also provide a variety of environmental benefits, including erosion control, weed suppression, and improved water quality.

Johnson spoke to Brownfield at the Soil and Water Conservation Society’s International Conference in Des Moines, Iowa on Monday.

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