Cover crops are planted for the primary purpose of improving the soil. For hundreds of years, farmers have used cover crops to restore fertility to worn-out land. Recently, more farmers are turning to cover crops not just because of improvements to soil fertility, but because of other benefits to the land and water. Cover crops also help:
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service offers financial assistance to farmers interested in planting cover crops through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). For more information on these programs or on upcoming sign-ups, Clermont and Brown County farmers should contact Lori Lenhart, NRCS District Conservationist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (513) 732-2181 ext. 3.
Clermont SWCD, NRCS and local farmers have also worked together to create two booklets designed to help farmers on their way with cover crops. These can be downloaded below.
The Midwest Cover Crop Council has created a very useful online Cover Crop Selector Tool to assist farmers in selecting cover crops to include in field crop and vegetable rotations.