This project, funded by EPA's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, will demonstrate the effectiveness of cover crops and conservation tillage systems to decrease agricultural nonpoint source pollution and inform producers about the economic benefits of the systems. CTIC and partners will assist agricultural producers in the Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, and Lake Huron watersheds with implementation of cover crops and conservation tillage systems on 15,000 acres by April 2013. Producers will receive technical, educational and social support to fully understand the benefits of cover crops and conservation tillage, to correctly incorporate the practices into their operation, to evaluate the changes and adapt management to optimize yield and resource protection. By providing this three-tiered support, this project builds producer capacity to effectively manage, adapt and commit to the long-term implementation of these conservation practices.


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Midwest Cover Crops Council, Ohio No-Till Council, The Ohio State University, Purdue University, Michigan State University, Indiana Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative


The project includes the following activities:
  • CTIC will host 18 workshops promoting the use of cover crops with continuous no-till. The first workshops will be in January 2011.
  • Three crop consultants will contact producers who attended workshops to help the write a plan and succesfully incorporate these practices into their operations.
  • CTIC will facilitate social support networks through an email list serve. Regular posts will address cover crop and conservation tillage topics, provide seasonal tips, answer questions and facilitate dialogue.
  • Fifteen participating producers will attend the National No-Till Conference in 2013 to network with and learn from other producers who use cover crops.
  • Producer experience with cover crops and conservation tillage shared through the web site and published articles will offer support and information for producers contemplating adoption of the practices.

For More Information

Contact Chad Watts, CTIC Project Director, at Tel: (574) 242-0147 or Email:

Get Involved

Promote the project to generate participation among farmers and recognition of the benefits of cover crops and conservation tillage. Provide financial support for the workshops to demonstrate commitment to conservation.