a unique COVER CROP program

Recognizing the Need for More Engagement through the Private Sector

While great progress has been made in scaling up cover crops through public sector programs in the last decade, the Conservation Infrastructure (CI)  initiative recognizes the need for more engagement through the private sector. A new project in 2019 will enhance efforts to scale up cover crops adoption through a unique program developed by two private companies.   

Called the Sustainability Cover Crop initiative, the project is a partnership between Peoples Company, a leading provider of land brokerage, management, investment and appraisal services and Stine Seed, the largest independent corn and soybean seed company. Together, the two companies are offering land owners a paid-in-full, managed cover crops program. The program is available for new land management accounts with Peoples Company. 

“Our company is committed to helping land owners effectively manage their property to maximize productivity, while also helping them reduce environmental impact,” says Steve Bruere, Peoples Company President. “With a significant amount of land rented in Iowa, I believe that working with land owners is an effective strategy to reduce environmental impact and maximize yields. Our program will show landowners it’s possible to reduce environmental impact while increasing productivity.”

How It Works

To receive cover crops paid-in-full by the program, land owners must agree to have their land professionally managed by Peoples Company and plant Stine Seed Company’s high-population corn or other approved Stine Seed for the full three-year duration of the agreement. 

“We understand that nothing is more important than caring for the land,” says Myron Stine, President of Stine Seed. “Through the years, we have implemented a number of processes on our own farm to aid in soil conservation, with high density corn being one of the most innovative.  At Stine, we believe that cover crops are another component of a strong soil conservation program. That’s why we are pleased to partner with People’s Company on this project.”

Cover crops play a critical role in improving soil health and water quality, summarizes Sean McMahon, Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA) Executive Director and member of the CI Strategy Working Group Core Team. "Therefore, IAWA is excited to partner with these two industry leaders to help landowners and farmers reap the many benefits of cover crops.”

Land managers from Peoples Company will inspect each property annually to ensure cover crops were utilized and Stine Seed Company seed was planted. The annual land management report for each enrolled farm will also document these practices. 

Available Resources:

Cover Crop Initiative - Seeding Mixes

Cover Crop Initiative - Informative Brochure