Researchers Try "Moneyball" Approach for Cover Crops
Have you ever heard of the book - Moneyball? It's about how analytics was used to change baseball. Now it appears the same data-driven assessments are being used by agricultural researchers - and they are asking farmers for feedback about cover crops.
Gregg Sanford is with University of Wisconsin, and says their database has performance information from only a handful of sites. He hopes farmers from all over will answer a survey to give them more reliable data.
"We kind of realized as scientists, we can only collect so much data," he said. "There's a whole range of producers throughout Wisconsin that are using cover crops that are interested in how things are performing on their farm -- what's working, what's not working."
He said they'll gather feedback into early December, and hope to have a comprehensive report soon after. Survey details are on the Michael Fields website.
Dan Smith with the University Nutrient and Pest Management Program. One of the goals, he said, is to break down the effectiveness of various cover crops by region.
"We really don't know what works really well in southern Wisconsin versus what may work really well in northern Wisconsin," he said. "We have some baseline suggestions, based on some prior research, but we're looking to zero in on those fine details."
The survey is online at michaelfields.org