According to recent data from the USDA 2022 Census of Agriculture, cover crops were planted on 6.2% of total cropland acres in the South. This compares to the nationwide average of 4.7%.

The data indicates a significant shift in cover-crop adoption between 2017 and 2022. Texas witnessed the largest gain in cover-crop area, with a 1.9% increase. This equates to over half a million acres.

Other southern states remained stagnant, with very little growth in cover-crop acreage. This can be credited to potential benefits versus costs. The benefits of cover crops include soil health, erosion control, weed and water management and carbon sequestration. The practice can also create expenses that outweigh these benefits, which leads to farmers discontinuing the practice.

Read more about the latest trends in cover crops here.