Surveys on Cover Crops and Soybean Production

Matt Ruark, Dept. of Soil Science, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison & Univ. of Wisconsin-Extension

The North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP) has recently funded an eight-state study to identify and prioritize future research needs on the use of cover crops in soybean production systems. Part of this project is to get a sense from soybean growers in Wisconsin, and from those that advise soybean growers in some capacity, if they are using cover crops before or after soybean.

Our goal is to get input from all soybean growers and consultants, not just ones currently using cover crops. The survey includes questions about drawbacks and challenges to cover crop use in Wisconsin. Answering “no” to the question, “Do you use cover crops?” is an important piece of information for us and for the NCSRP (and will dramatically shorten your time on the survey). For those that are using cover crops, we are very interested in which cover crop species are used, how they are planted, and what benefits you would like from cover crops. For the purpose of this survey, a cover crop refers to any crop intentionally planted between traditional crop production periods (May – October). This would not include any crop grown for the purpose of being harvested for feeding livestock. These survey results will be summarized and presented to the farmer-led NCSRP, along with a review of known research studies on cover crop impacts on soybean production. Your answers are anonymous.

Farmer Survey

To easily assess soybean grower use of cover crops, we have developed an 18-question survey. This survey can be completed online (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BGTMJ2S) and should not take more than 10 minutes to complete. There is also a hard copy of the survey available at www.ruarklab.soils.wisc.edu/research/cover-crops, although this will then need to be emailed or mailed after completion (mailing instructions are on the survey).

Crop consultant, agricultural professional, or service provider survey

The consultant survey can be found at (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5PDV788) and should not take more than 10 minutes to complete. There is also a hard copy of the survey available at www.ruarklab.soils.wisc.edu/research/cover-crops, although this will then need to be emailed or mailed after completion.

The survey is short and easy to complete. We hope you consider participating. Again, your answers are anonymous. If you’re interested in more information on cover crops please check out the Midwest Cover Crop Council website (www.mccc.msu.edu) which contains detailed information on nearly ever crop species as well as current information on crop insurance issues as they pertain to cover crops. For Wisconsin specific information on cover crops, check out the cover crops page on the UW Soils Extension site (www.soils.wisc.edu/extension/covercrop).

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