Updated: 6/3/2021 Rick Clark, 5th generation farmer has been using cover crops for over 10 years on his 7,000 acre family farm. 1,200 of Clark Land and Cattle is certified organic, with the remaining in transition. Rick believes in soil health and over many presentations at various Soil Health Conferences around the country, he’s shared […]
The East Texas Plant Materials Center (ETPMC) is working jointly with the US Forest Service (USFS) and East Texas Natives to develop a locally adapted swamp sunflower ecotype for use in longleaf pine habitat in the Western Coastal Plain.
Evaluation of growth characteristics and production attributes of commercially available varieties/cultivars and local sources of selected cover crops identified by NRCS State Agronomists/Soil Health Contacts and PMC staff. This study will also provide cover crop adaptation and growth data for different geographical regions of the U.S., and inform local recommendations for cover crops as well […]
Cool season cover crops provide multiple benefits between cash crops, including suppressing weeds, reducing erosion, adding nitrogen, increasing organic matter and improving soil health. Numerous varieties of cover crop species are available, but information on which varieties are best adapted to specific regions is largely unknown. The purpose of this study was to evaluate fifty-nine […]
Cool season, annual grasses and legumes have multiple benefits as a cover crop for soil conservation and soil health, livestock forage and wildlife habitat improvement. Success of the planting depends on selection of the best adapted cultivar or variety that meets the planting objective.The purpose of this study was to evaluate fifty-nine commercially available cultivars […]
Short‐season cover cropping can be an important weed management tool. To optimize the use of mustard [Sinapis alba L. and Brassica juncea (L.) Czern.] in the Great Lakes region, we assessed planting time effects, mustard biomass production, and weed suppression during mustard growth and after incorporation.
Increasing plant diversity in agroecosystems with cover crops has been a successful strategy to augment ecosystem services from agriculture, and increasing diversity of cover crops may provide even greater benefits. Productivity and ecosystem services from multi‐species cover crop mixtures were measured in a 2‐yr field study of 18 cover crop treatments preceding conventionally tilled corn […]
Annual Under-vine Cover Crops Did Not Impact Vine Growth or Fruit Composition of Mature Cool-climate ‘Riesling’ Grapevines
In the cool and humid climate of the northeastern United States, vegetation is typically maintained between the rows of wine grape (Vitis vinifera) vineyards, but the area directly beneath vines is conventionally kept bare using herbicides or cultivation, to reduce competition for water and nutrients. Yet with rising concerns of herbicide resistance, environmental contamination, and […]
Red clover, when interseeded (or frost-seeded) with winter wheat offers potential for economic return in the form of N credits, rotational yield bump and the potential for harvest as forage, all without idling cropland for the sake of cover cropping.
Crop residues are potential biofuel feedstocks, but residue removal may reduce soil carbon (C). The inclusion ofa cover crop in a corn bioenergy system could provide additional biomass, mitigating the negative effects of resi-due removal by adding to stable soil C pools.
Spring-planted green manure cover crops may provide a nitrogen (N) benefit to a subsequent sweet corn (Zea mays L.) crop, but spring growth and lack of consistent benefits documented in previous studies provide limitations to adoption. Berseem clover (BC; Trifolium alexandrinum) and chickling vetch (CV; Lathyrus sativus L.) are two legumes that could be beneficial […]
Wisconsin growers are increasingly interested in utilizing cover crops. While cover crop establishment is relatively easy following corn silage, small grains, and processing vegetables, establishing cover crops successfully following corn or soybean has been more difficult. Aerial seeding or over-the canopy seeding late in the growing season can be done with moderate success. An alternative […]
Trial conducted in Wisconsin examining the pros and cons of Red Clover, Cereal Rye and Radish
Incorporating leguminous cover crops into vegetable rotations is known to improve soil quality and increase nitrogen availability to subsequent crops but it can be difficult for small vegetable growers to include season-long leguminous covers on limited land. Further, establishing winter covers after harvest of late season crops like winter squash and Brussels sprouts is not […]
Biological control of nutrient cycling with cover crops has the potential to reduce N rate and leaching while maintaining optimal yields in agricultural systems. Leguminous cover crops contain high amounts of N, have low C:N, and release fixed N quickly.
Orchardists in Washington are experimenting with growing legumes in orchards to produce a sustainable source of nitrogen. This practice was common prior to the availability of commercial fertilizer, and is currently being revisited by orchardists who are experiencing problems with soil and fruit quality as a result of using organic and conventional fertilizers.
This project was an initial feasibility study for cover- and companioncrop mixes in a dryland cropping zone that depends heavily on winter precipitation. To maximize benefit to the reader, the experimental process is outlined, including mistakes and lessons learned
Grain farmers of Spokane and Lincoln Counties, WA, want to improve soil health on their land without compromising cash crops that are proven for this area, which depends heavily on winter precipitation. This project was a feasibility study for cover- and companion crop mixes for use in this dryland cropping zone.
Cover crops provide environmental and economic benefits to agricultural systems- reducing soil erosion, increasing soil organic matter, managing soil moisture, controlling weeds, increasing biodiversity, cycling nutrients, and increasing water infiltration. Cover crops increase nitrogen availability to cash crops through nutrient scavenging and reducing leaching of nitrate. Leguminous cover crops fix nitrogen, further increasing soil nutrients […]
Influence of Seeding Ratio, Planting Date, and Termination Date on Rye-Hairy Vetch Cover Crop Mixture Performance under Organic Management
Cover crop benefits include nitrogen accumulation and retention, weed suppression, organic matter maintenance, and reduced erosion. Organic farmers need region-specific information on winter cover crop performance to effectively integrate cover crops into their crop rotations. Our research objective was to compare cover crop seeding mixtures, planting dates, and termination dates on performance of rye (Secale […]