What is the best investment you can make to reduce soil erosion, improve soil quality, enhance water quality and address weed pressures? Many would say cover crops. 

Sometimes they might be right, but planting cover crops is not the slam dunk solution that some believe. Decision-making varies by region, soil type, seed type, weather, geography and more.

Agri-Pulse examines this complex topic in a new four-part series, “Cover Crops: The Potential, the Pitfalls, and the Policy Options.” Each of the four segments will be released weekly on www.Agri-Pulse.com through the week of December 20. 

“We consistently hear from producers and policy-makers alike looking to better understand the role cover crops play in soil health, reducing erosion and protecting water quality,” said Sara Wyant, Agri-Pulse founder and editor. “As the industry makes investments in new practices, economic sustainability is top of mind, and cover crops don’t always work in all parts of the country. That may change as new varieties are developed, but a better understanding of the current benefit structure is needed.”

In the first article, “Saving the planet by saving the soil: Can cover crops fulfill their promise?” the Agri-Pulse editorial team looks at growing interest in cover crops in certain parts of the country, the “yo-yo” principle of management and if USDA is overpromoting cover crops. 

Agri-Pulse editors spoke with producers, researchers, commodity groups, consumer brands and others. Future installments will look at what it takes for cover crops to work financially, the potential for turning cover crops into cash crops and the impact of policy barriers and incentives on the practice.

Sponsors include:

  • National Association of Wheat Growers
  • National Sorghum Producers
  • Millborn Seeds 
  • United Soybean Board

About Agri-Pulse: Agri-Pulse is the most trusted source for farm and rural policy information in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, Calif., providing a balanced perspective on a wide variety of issues including the farm bill, nutrition, trade, labor, food safety, water, environment, biotechnology, organic, conservation and crop insurance. Agri-Pulse publishes a subscription-only e-newsletter, the Agri-Pulse Daily Harvest early morning news summary, Agri-Pulse Daybreak, Agri-Pulse DriveTime podcast, and breaking news on www.Agri-Pulse.com.