Getting climate, energy & environment news right.

Midwest farms are using more cover crops. Why that’s good news.

Erin Blakemore of The Washington Post reports that cover crop usage has increased.

The C3 Take
  • For years farmers have known about cover crops and the benefits they provide, which include improved soil health and greater biodiversity.
  • Analysis from the journal Geophysical Research Letters finds that cover crop usage in the Midwest has increased significantly, covering 1.8% of farmland in 2011 before jumping to 7.2% in 2022.
  • Importantly, this increase in cover crops means that more CO2 is being sequestered on American farmlands.
  • Once again farmers are showing that they are our nation’s first and best environmentalists.

“Cover crops are used in place of crops intended for sale or animal forage. Farmers most commonly use rye or winter wheat for cover. Instead of being bare and exposed to the elements and erosion, these fields resist erosion. As the crop grows and decomposes, its nutrients are absorbed by the soil. And according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the crops can dry out wet fields before planting and even increase future crop yields.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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