February 11, 2022

Department of Agriculture’s actions will help strengthen cover crop cultivation and improve soil health

Dr. Mark Hyman, author of the bestselling book Food Fix and leader of the Food Fix Campaign, which seeks to fix America’s broken food system to improve health, the environment, and the economy, today released the following statement on Secretary Tom Vilsack’s announcement on the Department of Agriculture’s Pandemic Cover Crop Program (PCCP) for 2022.

“Cover crops are essential to improving soil health and supporting farm economics. As an integral part of Regenerative Organic Agriculture (ROA), cover crops enable U.S. farms to produce the nutrient rich food we need to fix our nation’s broken food system. That’s why Secretary Vilsack’s announcement is so important: by making farmers eligible for a premium benefit if they planted cover crops during the 2022 crop year, PCCP not only provides much-needed support during this pandemic but also serves as a compelling incentive for more cover crop cultivation.

“The share of U.S. farmland planted with cover crops has increased by more than 50% over the past 10 years, from just over 10 million to more than 15 million acres. However, U.S. acreage utilizing ROA methods like cover crops still accounts for less than 5% of total American cropland. With initiatives like PCCP, I am confident we will see even more progress as we strive to produce nutritious food, improve our farming environment, and protect the health of our children.”

The Food Fix Campaign The Food Fix Campaign filed formal comments to the USDA in 2021 urging high-level attention be given to the well-documented promise of Regenerative Organic Agriculture methods, including cover crops. Additionally, the Campaign is working with Administration officials as they implement major investments in climate-smart agriculture, including $3 Billion for agricultural and food sustainability as well as $146 Million for climate-smart agricultural and food research.

Statement by Dr. Mark Hyman, Chairman of the Food Fix Campaign