Soil health management systems (e.g. reduced tillage and cover crops) are thought to improve the financial position of an operation, but we have little data to understand the conditions when these systems are profitable, and on what timeline. To address this, the Minnesota Office for Soil Health (MOSH) is offering scholarships to encourage existing cover crop farmers to participate in Farm Business Management programs that contribute real farm operation data to the FINBIN database. The resulting data will be analyzed and compared to conventional soil management systems to understand the impact of soil management choices on enterprise budgets.
Participating farmers receive a partial reimbursement of their FBM or SWFM tuition, and are asked to contribute additional details about their cover cropping system. The FINBIN data managers at the UMN Center for Farm Financial Management have strict data privacy protections in place.
Learn more about and the Southwest MN Farm Business Management Association (SWFM) and the Minnesota State Farm Business Management Program (FBM).
Hear what researchers at the Center for Farm Financial Management have learned so far about cover crops: What Does FINBIN Data say about On-farm Costs and Benefits? A presentation by Katie Wilts and Joleen Hadrich, UMN Department of Applied Economics and Center for Farm Financial Management, April 14, 2020.
How to participate
Read this participant information sheet (pdf) explaining expectations and the process.
Then, complete this application form.
Enter cover crop information into FINPACK. Cover Crops in Financial Analysis (pdf) provides guidance for adding cover crop information in FINPACK.
Scholarships are funded by the Minnesota Natural Resources Conservation Service. 2019-2021.