The New York Times recently ran a great article about how more farms are incorporating cover crops as part of their farming practices because of the clear benefit in terms of soil health and land resilience. Depending on who you talk to, where they live, and what they grow, the value of this cover crop (in terms of improved soil productivity and reduced input needs) is $69/acre. According to the 2012 U.S. Agricultural Census, a little over 10 million acres out of a total of 390 million acres of farmland are in cover crops. Clearly this is a small percentage of farmlands but the increase in acres has been heartening. In one 2014 survey, there was a 100% increase in the mean average of cover crops since the same survey in 2010.
To learn more, read the case study profiles of Gabe Brown and Gail Fuller to learn about how these Holistic Management farmers are finding value from their work with integrating cover crops on their farms for a host of ecosystem and economic benefits.