Getting CLC on the landscape is a multi-faceted endeavor involving research, education, extension, market and supply chain development, policy initiatives, and active collaborations that engage partners across sectors – farmers, landowners, businesses, agencies, nonprofits, policymakers, and so on. This page connects you to a number of resources to use and build upon to make CLC Happen!
For several years, Green Lands Blue Waters and partners have been asking questions like –
How can we help more farmers get the information they need to increase continuous living cover?
Who will be the next generation of technical assistance (TA) providers?
How do we ensure that those providers are adequately trained, and that funding and policy supports increased capacity for these TA providers to reach farmers, leading to the changes we want to see on the landscape?
We’ve been working hard to help answer these questions. In 2022 we created a conversation starter and basic information guide full of ideas and contact information for staff at NRCS and SWCDs who run training programs, and for others who share our goals of increasing CLC training opportunities for conservation professionals. All contact information has been shared with the permission of those listed; please reach out directly if you’d like to work with any of the listed contacts to give or receive CLC-related training information.
We’ve also co-hosted small group conversations with Midwest Row Crop Collaborative and others on working with Certified Crop Advisors/ ag retailers. A summary of that work is below.
Further background. From 2020-2021 we asked CLC leaders in our networks to help us answer these questions through a series of interviews, a 10 question survey, and a virtual post-it-note type exercise. We are using the term “technical assistance providers” intentionally broadly. What we are driving towards is what channels are currently or could in the future be effective in reaching farmers with good resources, information and skill building on CLC crops and cropping systems. You’ll find the synthesis of what we heard below.
Throughout the spring and summer of 2021, a talented capstone team of masters students from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs continued this work through background research and a series of interviews with county-level staff, CCAs (Certified Crop Advisors), and soil health consultants and trainers across the Upper Midwest. Their work can be found in the report and the presentation below.
- See website for GLBW’s Midwest Perennial Forage Working Group
- Fact Sheet: Opportunities to Prioritize Funding for CLC and Perennial Grains in NRCS Practices – GLBW, Jun 2022
- Report: NRCS State Opportunity Reports – GLBW, Jul 2021
- This report summarizes GLBW interviews with state NRCS staff from Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota and includes highlights about building awareness, education, and implementation of CLC practices into NRCS programs.
- Fact Sheet: Examples of NRCS program support for CLC farming – GLBW, Oct 2020
- Paper: Summary of the activities of the GLBW NRCS Continuous Living Cover Cohort, 2018-2020 – GLBW, Oct 2020
- Fact Sheet: NRCS and the Benefits of Agroforestry – Savanna Institute and WI NRCS, Nov 2019
- Paper: NRCS Opportunities for Increasing Continuous Living Cover Farming Systems – GLBW, Jun 2018
- Fact Sheet: Recommended Actions to include Continuous Living Cover Farming Systems in the Environmental Quality Incentives and Conservation Stewardship Programs – GLBW, May 2018
Use the links below to access the Green Lands Blue Waters Continuous Living Cover Manual.
This manual was originally produced in 2015 with support from a North Central Region SARE Professional Development Program grant (NCR-SARE-PDP) by Jane Grimsbo Jewett and Sadie Schroeder.
Full Continuous Living Cover Manual (248 pages, opens in new browser tab)
CLC Manual Chapters:
- Basics of Contract Grazing
- Pasture Rental and Lease Agreements
- Evaluating Land Suitability for Grazing Cattle
- Rates Charged for Contract Grazing Arrangements
- Practices to Improve Water Quality
- Income Opportunities with Agroforestry
- Energy and Economic Returns by Crop Rotation
- Long Term Effects of Crop Management: Profitability
- Long Term Effects of Crop Management: Soil Quality
- Long Term Effects of Crop Management: Yield
- Small Changes, Big Impacts: Prairie STRIPS
- Cost of Prairie STRIPS
- Impact of Prairie STRIPS