INDIANAPOLIS — When it comes to planting cover crops, Indiana leads the nation in the implantation of this conservation practice.

“Indiana is a national leader in the growing and use of cover crops. We don’t say Indiana ranks No. 1 in cover crops because other states don’t have the same mechanisms as Indiana to count their cover crops,” said Shannon Zezula, who serves as a Natural Resources Conservation Service state resource conservationist.

Zezula said NRCS uses a program known as a conservation transect, which is used for tracking no-tillage programs, as well as cover crops.

“Employees of the conservation partnership and the Soil and Water Conservation District partner together, and each county district goes out and surveys specific sectors,” said Jill Reinhart, who is serving as the acting Indiana state conservationist.

Reinhart said this method was used to count more than 970,000 acres of cover crops growing throughout the state in 2017.

Zezula said cover crops surpassed the amount of wheat acres planted in Indiana several years ago and now rank right behind corn and soybeans.

Ashley Langreck can be reached at 800-426-9438, ext. 192, or alangreck@agrinews-pubs.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @AgNews_Langreck.

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