Producers and conservationists are concerned about soil erosion and soil loss. Producers are also concerned about profits. Many studies have examined tillage methods as a means of conserving soil. Other studies have evaluated cover crops as a means to conserve soils. This paper evaluates a combination of these two methods of soil conservation based on the economic returns associated with each of the defined systems. Field studies were conducted at Stoneville, MS, from 2000 through 2004. Treatments consisted of conventional till, no-till, low-till sub-soiling, no-till with a winter wheat cover crop, and low-till sub-soiling with a winter wheat cover crop. Partial budgets were developed for each treatment over the 5 yr of the study. Within the partial budgets, both direct and total specified expenses for the specified tillage and cover crop practices were calculated. Results indicated that the highest returns and the lowest relative risk were obtained from a traditional no-till system compared with the other systems in this study. Yield increases did not offset the added expense from planting cover crops. Sub-soiling also did not increase returns enough to offset the added expense and may have even reduced yields. The conventional tillage system had relatively high returns but was among the riskiest (highest variance) of the treatments analyzed. Producers requiring a cover crop system might choose the no-till cover crop system, since it had the highest mean net returns of the two cover crop systems.