Iowa farmers planted more than 353,000 acres of cover crops with financial assistance from state and federal conservation programs in the fall of 2016 – nearly 18 percent more than the previous year.

Based on statewide surveys and aerial imagery completed by conservation groups this spring, agriculture leaders estimate Iowa farmers planted at least 600,000 cover crop acres last fall.

The new cover crop mark represents the second consecutive year with an increase of more than 60,000 acres.

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