More than half of Iowa's farmers are interested in cover crops. In Iowa State University Extension's Iowa Farm and Rural Life poll, 20.6 percent of farmers used cover crops in 2015 and another 33.5 percent said they might use it in the future.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says it's encouraging to see those numbers, "It also shows the potential for significant growth in acreage of cover crops. In many cases farmers are trying cover crops on a limited acreage and then starting to expand that as they become more familiar with the practice and better understand how it fits into their farming operation."
For other conservation practices, 42 percent of farmers say they used no-till practices in 2015, with another 20 percent who might use it in the future. And while fewer than a percent used bioreactors, more than 15 percent are interested in trying it out.
The poll sent surveys to more than 2,000 farmers, about 1,000 responded. Participants averaged 65 years old, with larger than average farms at a mean of 450 acres.