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Cover Crop Standard Unchanged

In Response to Feedback, USDA Keeps Cover Crop Standard Unchanged

In response to feedback from agricultural producers and partners, USDA will not update its conservation practice standard (CPS) for cover crops. NRCS originally proposed restricting mechanical harvest of cover crops, but after review of input, NRCS recognizes this could present challenges for producers who use this important conservation practice.

NRCS received 89 comments through the Federal Register regarding the cover crop CPS. Comments demonstrated a broad application of cover crops as well as producers’ willingness to adopt cover crops for their conservation benefits. Comments also revealed that producers are moving from adoption of a cover crop to the conservation management of the cover crop within their cropping systems. NRCS is committed to supporting producers in the expansion of cover crops as an integral component of their operations.

The latest version of the standard can be found in the Field Office Technical Guide under Section IV, Conservation Practices and Supporting Documents, by State.