Farmers increased use of 'cover crops' brings many benefits
COLUMBIA - There's a growing popularity and increase of farmers using a plant mixture called 'cover crops' that will help people and the environment.
"Throughout the nation, this has been something like a grassroots efforts by farmers to take care of their soil and to have it healthier. You have to remember the soil is the foundation of how a farmer can make money. If you have a healthy soil, you can have healthy crops and then have better production," said conservation agronomist, Jodie Reisner.
'Cover crops' are a mixture of plants that get mixed with the soil and therefore helps rebuild and strengthen the plants. It also allows farmers to not use harmful fertilizers on the crops.
Reisner said the time that soil erodes the most is between March and June. She said there's many reasons why farmers plant them, for erosion control, to help water filter down to the roots and provide a food source for the living part of the soil.
She said using cover crops benefits the people the most. She said 'cover crops' help reduce erosion in the air and gives cleaner water in lakes and streams. It also provides cover for wildlife animals like bees and butterflies where it allows the continuation of pollinators for food production.