Cover crops on rented ground benefit both the renter and the landowner. Nolan Patterson of Stratford, IA works with his landowner Jean Eells to make cover crops beneficial for all parties. Nolan, who had already been strip-tilling and no-tilling when Jean suggested cover crops, said, “it seemed like the next logical step.”
Advice for engaging landlords to transition to cover crops: Although Jean initially approached Nolan about seeding cover crops, Nolan says renters could approach landowners about cover crops as well. “Take them to a field day, attend a PFI meeting together, or drive by a neighboring cover-cropped field so they can see it for themselves and understand. Seeing is believing,” he notes, “and start simple and slowly – one field at a time – so the landowner is comfortable with it.”
Covering the costs and labor together: Nolan explains that government programs that help with funding, such as NRCS’ EQIP, abound and have covered the cost of cover crops on his rented ground so far. Nolan and Jean work together to do the paperwork and labor associated with the cover crop. When EQIP contracts are up, they will continue to work together on cover crops.