Cover Crop Training

Offering Practical Tools to Canadian Farmers From Coast to Coast

COG has been working with Farmers for Climate Solutions (FCS) to launch a new project called the Farm Resilience Management (FaRM) Program. FCS is a national coalition of farm organizations dedicated to putting forth farmer-led solutions to the climate crisis. The Farmer Training Program will include three unique courses on: nitrogen management, rotational grazing and cover cropping.

COG delivered the curriculum for the course focused on cover cropping. The free educational program is available for all farmers including organic, regenerative, transitional and conventional. There will be both an online self-directed learning component and an upfront section that is taught by regional peers. 

The curriculum is founded on practical experience from farmers in different regions across the country. The four-year project will include new content every year and also evolve in response to feedback from previous years.

Discover How Cover Crops Can Help You on Your Farm

Through this course, you will be able to identify how cover crops can fix some of the soil problems on your farm, and how these plants can improve your bottom line. By using cover crops, you can cut back on your use of fertilizers, soil amendments and sprays, and add biodiversity to your farm.

By Completing This Course, You Will Leave With:

  • A cover crop plan adapted to your region, microclimate, soil type, equipment, crop rotation and other characteristics. You will work out how and when to plant and terminate cover crops and even have back-up plans in case something unexpected happens.
  • Tools to help adapt and expand your cover crop plan. You will have the resources to change your cover crop plan if your farm changes and as you get more comfortable using cover crops.
  • A network of contacts. During the course, you will meet Mentors and other farmers in your region. You will develop a network of people you can reach out to with questions or follow on social media to find out about upcoming workshops and farm tours.

Training Approach

The training will consist of a blended approach:

Online, Self-Paced Curriculum
An online, self-paced curriculum using multimedia learning materials complemented by an accompanying workbook
Group Training Sessions
Group training sessions with a mentor in the same region, often with similar crops/livestock and scales of production

The resource list will include a range of media including videos, podcasts, fact sheets, peer-reviewed journal articles, databases and websites.

COG’s National Cover Crop Curriculum

1. Cover Cropping 101
  • 1.1. Intro to cover cropping
  • 1.2. Management for soil health
2. Cover Cropping on the Farm
  • 2.1. Regional considerations
  • 2.2. Seasonal considerations
  • 2.3. Main production systems
  • 2.4. Scale
  • 2.5. Seeding
  • 2.5. Termination
  • 2.6. Organic vs non-organic
  • 2.7. Soil testing
  • 2.8. Equipment
3. The Economics of Cover Cropping
  • 3.1. Cash – Costs-benefits and cost-share programs
  • 3.2. Climate benefits
  • 3.3. Ecosystem services
4. Cover Cropping Workbook
  • 4.1. Introduction to the workbook
  • 4.2. Review sections to complete before group workshop with a farmer mentor

Cover Crop Training Outcomes

Train over 10,000 farmers on 2 million acres across Canada over four years
Increase the number of farmers adopting on-farm ecological practices
Enhance the profitability of farmers by building soil and reducing input costs

CCT Team

Program Partners