March 24 Webinar: Economic Considerations on Cover Crop Adoption

March 17, 2021

AMES, Iowa—Learn about the economics of cover crops during the Iowa Learning Farms webinar on Wednesday, March 24 at noon. 

Alejandro Plastina, associate professor and extension economist at Iowa State University, will address the profitability of winter cover crops in Iowa from the producer’s perspective, based on agronomic experiments and surveys of farmers. Plastina will also present two decision tools that can be used to calculate farmers’ own expected net returns on cover crops.  

The presentation will conclude with a discussion of the relative costs of nitrate leaching abatement through cover crops borne by farmers and taxpayers, and a brief discussion on why it is too early to think about monetizing soil health improvements.  

“Cover crops are a good farming practice, but they are only profitable for a small percentage of farms,” said Plastina. “Webinar participants will learn how they are able to use a decision tool to calculate their expected net returns on cover crops.” 

Dr. Plastina’s research and extension program focuses on farm business and financial management, with a particular emphasis on the economics of conservation practices. 

Webinar Access Instructions 

To participate in the live webinar, shortly before 12 pm CDT on March 24: 

Click this URL, or type this web address into your internet browser:  

    Or, go to and enter meeting ID: 364 284 172   


Or, join from a dial-in phone line:  

    Dial: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923 

    Meeting ID: 364 284 172  


The webinar will also be recorded and archived on the ILF website, so that it can be watched at any time. Archived webinars are available at

A Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit (CEU) has been applied for, for those who are able to participate in the live webinar. Information about how to apply to receive the credit will be provided at the end of the live webinar. 

About Iowa Learning Farms 

Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation by encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms include the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319) and GROWMARK, Inc


Hilary Pierce                                       Jacqueline Comito 

Extension Outreach Specialist            ILF Program Director                   

515-294-8912                                       515-296-0081