In recent years, cover crops have been widely promoted as a regenerative practice that offers a range of benefits, both environmental and economical. Many western Canadian farmers are skeptical, though, citing short growing seasons, limited moisture and added costs as reasons they haven’t adopted the practice. Yet, policymakers and agri-businesses continue to push cover crops as a fundamental component of regenerative agriculture and overall farm sustainability. But is the adoption of cover crops a logical move for Prairie farmers?
The practice of strip farming—alternating cropped and summerfallow strips—particularly across the southern Prairies, was a common sight for several decades early in the last century as farmers applied strategies to reduce wind erosion of soil.