Farmers have various reasons why they choose to plant cover crops. Some utilize cover crops as forage, others use the crops to improve their yield potential. But farmers are also seeing cover crops as a tool to reduce nutrient losses, they said at a cover crop meeting held last week in Van Wert.

Steve McGrew, a Mills County Farm Bureau member, chose cover crops to reduce erosion.

"The goal was entirely erosion control," he told farmers at the meeting. McGrew farms with his brothers near Emerson in southwest Iowa. They began experimenting with cover crops on their corn/soybean rotation in 1992.

"I believe in putting a broadleaf cover crop in front of corn, and a grass cover crop in front of soybeans,"...