Fact Sheet

W.Travis Meteer
Commercial Educator, Beef
University of Illinois Extension

Meteer, W.*1,
1 Commercial Educator, Beef, University of Illinois Extension, Baylis, IL, 62314

According to the Illinois state climatologist, the spring of 2019 ranked within the top four wettest spring seasons in state history (March–May). This precipitation pattern resulted in a large amount of prevent plant acres. In fact, farmers were prevented from planting over 19 million acres in 2019 in the United States, according to USDA FSA. This led to many questions and inquiries about cover crop options for prevent plant acreage.

Policies that allowed harvesting forage from prevent plant acreage without penalty to prevent plant payments also drove farmers thirst for information about cover crops for forage production.

In a response to this need for information. This quick guide to cover crops for forage was developed. The audience for this resource was farmers, ranchers, consultants, and industry partners. This factsheet was developed to aid clients in making decisions in cover crop selections, planting, and budgeting. The goal was to provide information on planting, species characteristics, estimated forage yield, and cautions in an easy to read format. This resource was intended to provide basic information to fuel conversations about personalized cover crop approaches for farmers and land owners.

This document was shared in the printed form to over 300 participants of face-to-face meetings, shared via social media posts with a reach of over 5,000, and received over 1500 clicks on Extension websites.