Increasing the resilience of our collective cropland while reducing nutrient losses will require more acres in cover crops in 2022 and future years. For greater cover crop adoption, we need to spread the cover crop ‘gospel’ with our farming and non-farming friends.
Kevin Cooper is a farmer and cover crop/no-till evangelist near Nevada, IA. He notes, “cover crops are a great way to utilize sunlight to increase organic matter, which increases our soils’ water holding capacity.”
Inspiring youth: In addition to raising crops, Kevin is an agriculture instructor and FFA adviser at Nevada High School. Kevin prioritizes sharing his cover crop and no-till journey with his students. He says, “Our young people have got to value our soil, water, air. They’ll need to have resources a hundred, a thousand years from now.” While gaining on-farm experience, the classes and FFA chapter host field days and do outreach events.
Promoting outreach: Kevin notes that cover croppers throughout the Midwest can do outreach themselves. He says, “Look for opportunities to promote cover crops with your local civic groups, schools and even neighbors.”
What will you do in 2022 to share the cover crop message?