Mar 7, 2023
Why do you plant cover crops … or why don’t you?

Farmers are invited to share their thoughts on cover crops in an online survey at Your insight will help guide research, communications, seed development, and more.

The National Cover Crop Survey is the seventh since 2012 conducted by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) and the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA), with the help of Informa/Farm Progress.

“Since 2012, the National Cover Crop Survey has been extremely valuable in helping guide research priorities, direct communications and education efforts, provide data to researchers, and illustrate the effects of policy on cover crop use and adoption,” Rob Myers, regional director of Extension programs for North Central SARE and director of the University of Missouri Center for Regenerative Agriculture, said in a news release.

“Data from previous surveys have been used in scientific papers, business planning, Extension efforts, media coverage of cover crops, and even included in testimony to Congress,” he said in the release.

At CTIC, executive director Ryan Heiniger points out that insights from farmers who do not plant cover crops are important to the project.

“Hearing both perspectives is vital to understanding where cover crops are a good fit for economic and environmental goals, identifying barriers and concerns, and developing information that will help farmers succeed with cover crops in the future,” he said in the release.

Andy LaVigne, president and CEO of ASTA, said that survey results help ensure the seed industry is prepared to meet farmer demand for cover crop seed varieties.

“Seed producers are very interested in learning which species of cover crops growers are interested in, as well as how they are being used,” LaVigne said in the release. “Many of our members look to the results of this survey as they shape their breeding and planting programs, so the effects of these surveys can be felt for years.”

Survey answers are anonymous. Participating farmers can request more information on cover crops at the end of the survey. They can also opt in to be included in a drawing for one of three $100 Visa gift cards.

Visit to take the survey.

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