A mere two weeks ago I was in a middle of a field with my dear uncle Christophe. He was explaining me how he is planting cover crops in some of their fields to cut fertilizer and pesticides use as well as protecting the Environment.
Now, back to present days, I read a long and fascinating article by Tom Philpott – for those who grew up in a farm and/or are interesting in agriculture – on the many other benefits of this practice and how it is being promoted in the United States.
Cover crops provide so many advantages over current farming practices that it has to be hoped it will become common practice globally in the next decades.
But what are cover crops anyway ? In a nutshell, it is a practice consisting of planting ” fall plantings that blanket the ground in winter and are allowed to rot in place come spring “ as Mother Jones reports. Up to 14 plants are being used to do so.
Associated with no tilling, cover crops are a boon for both Nature and farmers.
- Slashes the use of synthetic fertilizers and herbicides as it feeds the soil ;
- Better water management, in both droughts and floods, thus combating climate crises ;
- as less pesticides are used, less of it pollute water downstream ;
- as cover crop dies, it leaves organic matter, thus regenerating topsoil ;
- absorbs carbon dioxide, fighting climate change ;
- slightly more productive fields.
You must have understood it by now, cover crops are simply put, the future of sustainable agriculture, or at least a huge part of it. Please read Tom Philpott’s article to learn out more.
Image credits: Wikipedia.