N Fertilizer Recovery and Partitioning by Cover Crops Under Greenhouse Conditions

Nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients for crop growth and is usually required in the greatest quantities for maximal biomass and grain production. Unfortunately, residual -N remaining in the soil after cash crop harvest is susceptible to loss through erosion, runoff, and leaching. Cover crops provide safeguards against N loses by serving as […]

Cover Crop Biomass and Species Composition Affect Soil Microbial Community Structure and Enzyme Activities in Semiarid Cropping Systems

Soil microbial community structure and functioning, including substrate catalysis and nutrient cycling, in agroecosystems vary with soil management practices. Intensifying and diversifying cropping systems by integrating cover crops can increase microbial abundance and enzyme activities. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the response of different cover crops (single as well as in […]

Quantifying the Landscape’s Ecological Benefits – An Analysis of the Effect of Land Cover Change on Ecosystem Services

The increasing pressure from land cover change exacerbates the negative effect on ecosystems and ecosystem services. One approach to inform holistic and sustainable management is to quantify the ES provided by the landscape. Using the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs model, this study quantified the sediment retention capacity and water yield potential of […]

Economics of Soil Health Systems – South Dakota (Fact Sheet)

The Soil Health Institute and Cargill conducted this project to provide farmers with the economics information they need when deciding whether to adopt soil health practices and systems. The 10 farmers interviewed in South Dakota grew crops on an average of 1690 acres, using no-till on 95% and cover crops on 22% of those acres. […]

Evaluating High-Resolution Optical and Thermal Reflectance of Mazie Interseeded with Cover Crops Across Spatial Scales Using Remotely Sensed Imagery

The presence of cover crops in the U.S. Midwest maize and soybean fields has shown to be a beneficial practice from an environmental benefits viewpoint. Cover crops reduce water runoff, increase infiltration, improve soil organic matter and overall soil health, reduce soil erosion, nitrate leaching and suppress weeds. Inter-seeding cover crops in maize during the […]

Economics of Soil Health Systems – South Dakota (Webinar)

The Soil Health Institute and Cargill conducted this project to provide farmers with the economics information they need when deciding whether to adopt soil health practices and systems. The 10 farmers interviewed in South Dakota grew crops on an average of 1690 acres, using no-till on 95% and cover crops on 22% of those acres. […]

Ryegrass for Forage

Two ryegrass species are of great importance in forage/livestock production; annual ryegrass and perennial ryegrass. Both species are easy to establish, versatile in how they can be used and adapted on a wide range of soil types. They are leafy grasses that produce highly palatable forage that often exceeds 70% digestible dry matter and 20% […]

Successful Annual Ryegrass Termination with Herbicides

Annual ryegrass adaptability, quick establishment, and aggressive growth are also considered to be characteristics of a weed. The annual ryegrass we know as a cover crop is the same species as Italian ryegrass, which has become a major pest in both the southern Mississippi Delta and Pacific Northwest. This species’ aggressive growth aspects and its […]

Managing Cover Crops Profitably Third Edition

Cover crops slow erosion, improve soil, smother weeds, enhance nutrient and moisture availability, help control many pests and bring a host of other benefits to your farm. At the same time, they can reduce costs, increase profits, and even create new sources of income. You will reap dividends on your cover crop investments for years […]

A Comprehensive Guide to Cover Crop Species Used in the Northeast United States

The following sections include 22 species that are used throughout the Northeast as cover crops. After each section and at the end of this review, the sources of information used are listed. Each reference will provide a more in-depth description for the values given. This is a guide, based on literature from books, journal articles, […]

Bees and Cover Crops: Using Flowering Cover Crops for Native Pollinator Conservation

Agricultural landscapes can present many threats to native bee communities. Such threats include destruction or fragmentation of natural habitat and the food and nesting resources it provides for pollinators, as well as exposure to potentially toxic agricultural pesticides. Though, considering alternative approaches that can be incorporated directly into cultivated fields can potentially benefit crop productivity […]

2016-2017 Cover Crop Survey

The fifth annual cover crop survey by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program and the Conservation Technology Information Center draws on the insight of 2,102 farmers—88% of whom reported using cover crops and 12% who identified themselves as non-users—from across the U.S. Cereal rye remained the top choice of farmers for cover cropping, followed […]

Corn Nitrogen Management Following Daikon Radish and Forage Oat Cover Crops

Cover crops (CC) preceding corn may influence subsequent nitrogen (N) availability, but it is not clear whether N strategies require adjustment. Field studies conducted in 2015 to 2016 evaluated the effects of a daikon radish, forage oat, and no CC following winter wheat soil chemical properties, corn growth, grain yield, and profitability. The objective of […]

Introducing Grazeable Cover Crops to the Winter Wheat Systems in Oklahoma

Introducing summer cover crops to the system could increase soil conservation and farm profitability if grazed. Short-term benefits of planting a summer cover crop might include reduced soil erosion in the winter wheat systems in the Southern Great Plains. The main goal of this project was to assess the feasibility of integrating into a winter […]

Agronomic and Economic Impacts of Cover Crops in Texas Rolling Plains Cotton

Within semi-arid environments, reduction in soil moisture by cover crops is a potential disadvantage. Water is often the most limiting factor in crop production across the U.S. Great Plains. Water use by cover crops has been shown to greatly reduce yields of subsequent crops in semi-arid regions. The adoption of cover crops in cropping systems […]