There’s a new opening for rural America to create jobs and make farming more future-friendly, according to a new report from the National Wildlife Federation. The Growing Business of Cover Crops details new business opportunities arising from a resurgence in the ancient practice of cover crops. Over the last decade, many farmers started using cover crops, creating a niche market for rural entrepreneurs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports a 38 percent increase in cover crop acres from 2012 to 2013, with the average farmer willing to pay $40 per acre on cover crops. For the average-sized farm (420 acres) that means $16,800 per farm spent on cover crops each year. The Growing Business of Cover Crops highlights the small business opportunities created by the upsurge in the use of cover crops, including crop advisers, seed production and sales, planting and even livestock grazing, with salaries reaching $62,000 per year. To read the report, visit www.nwf.org.
This report appears in the October 2014 issue of Acres U.S.A.