Economic Benefits from Utilizing Cover Crops as Forage

Published Nov 9, 2016

In a Nutshell

Planting cover crops, then grazing or harvesting them, is a practical way to effectively reduce nutrient pollution, plus provide economic benefits to cattle owners. This represents a win-win for livestock producers and water quality for Iowa.

Key findings

Four farmers in northwest Iowa reported that in the fall and winter of 2015, cover crops provided 0.07 to 3.74 tons of dry matter per acre. Grazing this cover saved farmers $1,306 to $22,801 in hay or other stored feed expenses.