What are cover crops?
To create our delicious spreads, farmers grow lots and lots of soybeans. But they can’t just grow soybeans. Why not? Because growing one crop over and over again can lead to degraded soil—not to mention leave crops vulnerable to pests and disease. Think of it this way: it wouldn’t be healthy for you to eat only one food, all the time—the same goes for soil.
The good news is, by growing a variety of crops on rotation—including soybeans, corn, wheat, and milo—farmers can keep their soil a whole lot healthier. Almost like a healthy, balanced diet—for the Earth.
Another important way to keep soil healthy is to keep it covered. Cover crops act as insulation to protect the soil from extreme heat and cold. Cover crops’ green vegetation and roots help keep the soil in place during strong wind, heavy rain, or rapid snow melt. This prevents soil particles, vital crop nutrients, and farm chemicals from leaving the field and moving into our water and air.