New Report Details Connection Between Conservation Practices And Farm Profitability


Conservation’s Impact on the Farm Bottom Line is a new report from Soil Health Partnership (SHP) that details the financial impact of conservation tillage and cover crop usage among Midwest corn and soybean growers.

This project, done in collaboration with Environmental Defense Fund and the accounting firm K•Coe Isom, aimed to:

• Compare crop budgets for fields using conventional vs. conservation practices
• Identify benefits, opportunities and limiting factors associated with common conservation approaches, and
• Help farmers and their business partners better understand the financial dynamics of conservation practice adoption

Based on an analysis of farm operations, management practices and financial records, the project team identified three key takeaways:

1. Conservation tillage reduces operating costs, resulting in higher net returns per acre among study participants.
2. Cover crops can be part of a profitable farming system, especially as experience with the practice grows.
3. Success with conservation practices is optimized when farmers take a targeted, stepwise, tailored approach to implementation.

The hope with this project is that analyses like this will encourage continued and expanded support for farmers – technical and financial – as they transition to conservation practices.

To learn more about Conservation’s Impact on the Farm Bottom Line, visit