Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version


Document Type



Cornhusker Economics, November 18, 2015,


Copyright 2015 University of Nebraska.


Cover crops are becoming increasing popular throughout Nebraska and the surrounding region. As their name implies, cover crops cover the ground helping prevent soil erosion outside of the growing season for the primary crop. Below ground, cover crops also contribute to soil organic matter. Increasingly, people are looking at the above ground biomass produced by cover crops as a potential source of feed for cattle or other ruminant livestock. Technically, this would make them double cropped forages instead of cover crops but that is a topic for another day. For now, let's consider the fact that many of the crop producers currently engaged in using cover crops or thinking about becoming engaged in using cover crops don't have cattle but may be interested in obtaining income from this as a potential feed resource. Lett's also consider the fact that many cattle producers are interested in making use of it as a potentially valuable source of feed. This creates a scenario where many folks are asking questions about what is a fair rental agreement for grazing cover crops.