Building Knowledge about Wisconsin’s Cover Crops

Building Knowledge about Wisconsin’s Cover Crops
A farmer research project

We’re kicking off a fourth year of the Wisconsin Cover Crop Survey after reaching nearly 100 farms to date 🎉 . If you use cover crops, we are looking for high-quality on-farm data to help improve our understanding about the who, what, why, where, and when of cover crops.

Join us!

How it works:

  • Fill out a survey this fall on one field or set of fields where you cover crop (online or paper options available).
  • A kit will be mailed to you in the fall for you to collect and mail samples of your cover crop in the fall and again in the spring. We will test biomass and forage quality and do a nutrient analysis on your samples.

We are limited to sixty sampling kits for the entire state so please sign up as soon as possible to ensure your spot in this year’s project!

As a thank you for your partnership:

  • Farmers receive a $25 stipend for filling out the survey or a $100 stipend for also contributing cover crop samples.
  • We send you your FREE results on cover crop biomass, nutrient analysis and forage quality
  • We share interactive web and paper reports so you can learn of project findings and also compare your own cover crop practices and results with other farmers all around the state.
  • Your information will be kept private, your participation is voluntary, and you can leave the project at any time.

QUESTIONS? Email: Dan Smith, or Ricardo Costa Silva, r.costasilva@TNC.ORG.

Sign Up Here

Please share this signup info with other farmers that plant cover crops.

 Who is collecting this data and why

This citizen science project is part of the Soil Health Collaborative, a group of researchers and educators working with USDA Dairy Forage Research Center, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, the University of Wisconsin, and other partners to improve cover crop recommendations for the state of Wisconsin. We need to better understand how cover crops are being used, the challenges, and what benefits producers are seeing. Our goals are to help farmers like you make sound management decisions, improving decision support tools like SnapPlus and helping build the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial database.

The project is partially sponsored by The Nature Conservancy, and we sincerely thank them for their continued support. This project would not be nearly as successful without the dedicated support from TNC agronomist Ricardo Costa. Thank you!

Questions or Comments?

Dan Smith, University of Wisconsin-Madison & Extension Southwest Regional Outreach Specialist for the Nutrient and Pest Management (NPM) Program, 608-219-5170.