A survey of farmers by Purdue University conducted last month showed significant gains in cover crop plantings. Nearly two-thirds of the 400 respondents across several states said they currently plant or have planted cover crops. 

Among the producers currently using cover crops, nearly half (47%) began planting cover crops within the last five years while 29% have been planting cover crops for 10 years or more.

When asked why they choose to plant cover crops, the most common responses (in order) were to improve soil health, improve erosion control and improve water quality. In addition, 10% of cover crop users said an existing carbon sequestration contract was one of the reasons they choose to plant cover crops.