TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) -- The results of a recent survey by the Indiana Conservation Partnership showed that Indiana farmers set a conservation record this year by planting an estimated 1.5 million acres of cover crops.
A cover crop is a crop that's grown in the off-season and is known for its environmental benefits. Some of its benefits are decreasing soil erosion, improving soil health, and promoting cleaner waterways.
Brad Burbrink, Partner of BE-N-Ag Family Farm in Terre Haute, told News 10 he plants 500-1,000 cover crops each year and has done so for the last five years.
Burbrink said some farmers have been hesitant to try something new, but he has seen great results from using cover crops.
"We definitely see the benefits of cleaner water coming off the fields. Less gully erosion and sheet erosion and those sorts of things in the fields," Burbrink said.
According to Indiana Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch, who is also the Indiana Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, the recorded 1.5 million acres of planted cover crops prevented 1.6 million tons of sediment from entering our waterways.
"To put that in perspective, that's about 453 Olympic-sized pools," explained Indiana Lt. Gov. Crouch.
Lieutenant Governor Crouch said it's important for everyone to know the role farmers play in sustaining our land.
"Farmers are responsible stewards of land. They're environmentally conscious, and they want to leave the land better for future generations," she said.
Burbrink said each year he learns a new way cover crops impact his farming season. He also hopes to expand his cover crop acreage next year!
If you're interested in cover crop farming and would like more information, visit here.