Molecular Evidence for Impoverished Mycorrhizal Communities of Agropyron cristatum Compared with Nine Other Plant Species in the Northern Great Plains

The success of invasive plants has been partly attributed to their effects on soil biota, especially arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). AMF help plants acquire nutrients, drought tolerant, and resist pathogens. Studies have shown that invasive species can reduce richness and abundance of AMF. This study explores whether crested wheatgrass associates with different AMF communities than […]

Do Cover Crops Benefit Soil Microbiome? A Meta-Analysis of Current Research

Cover cropping is a promising sustainable agricultural method with the potential to enhance soil health and mitigate consequences of soil degradation. Because cover cropping can form an agroecosystem distinct from that of bare fallow, the soil microbiome is hypothesized to respond to the altered environmental circumstances. Overall, there is a critical lack of global perspective […]

Equipment Development for Small and Urban Conservation Farming Systems

The number of local urban farms producing fruit and vegetables for local farmers’ markets in the USA is on the rise. Local farms usually own small walk-behind tractors with interchangeable attachments. Majority of these small farms realize benefits of utilizing cover crops which are widely promoted by USDA ARS and NRCS to increase sustainability of […]

Winter Cover Crops Increase Readily Decomposable Soil Carbon, but Compost Drives Total Soil Carbon During Eight Years of Intensive, Organic Vegetable Production in California

Compost and cover crops are often used to add organic matter to the soil in frequently tilled, intensive organic vegetable production systems. The objectives of this study were to quantify C inputs, and to assess the effects of urban yard-waste compost, winter cover crop frequency and cover crop type on soil organic carbon and labile […]

Mechanisms Underlying Limited Soil Carbon Gains in Perennial and Cover-Cropped Bioenergy Systems Revealed by Stable Isotopes

Removal of biomass for bioenergy production may decrease soil organic carbon. While perennials or cover‐cropped grains often have greater root production than annual grain crops, they variably impact soil carbon and underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Quantifying cropping system impacts on net changes in soil organic carbon can be challenging given high spatial heterogeneity and slow […]

Cover Crop Performance between Plastic-Mulched Beds: Impacts on Weeds and Soil Resources

The use of plastic mulch film is standard practice in many conventional and organic fresh market vegetable production systems. Key benefits of plastic mulch include temperature moderation, increased moisture retention, reduced nutrient leaching, effective weed suppression in the crop row, and reduced soil splash that can lower incidence of some soil-borne diseases. Soil erosion can […]

Global Meta-Analysis of Cotton Yield and Weed Suppression from Cover Crops

Meta-analysis is a statistical approach to combine multiple, independent studies across years, locations, soil texture, timeframes, and other experimental conditions to characterize consistency of outcomes. To systematically evaluate cover crop effects on cotton yield and weed suppression, we conducted a random-effects meta-analysis investigating 10 moderating variables in 104 articles, yielding 1117 independent studies over 48 […]

Special Issue on the Application of Trap and Cover Crops in Insect Pest Management

Insect pests are one of the major limitations in agronomy and horticultural crop production. Intensive use of synthetic chemical insecticides for pest control has caused numerous well-known issues including increased insecticide resistance, environmental and human health concerns, and the resurgence of pest populations because natural control is disrupted. Hence, attention has been diverted to various […]

Detecting Winter Cover Crops and Crop Residues in the Midwest US Using Machine Learning Classification of Thermal and Optical Imagery

One of the most promising climate mitigation and adaptation interventions in agroecosystems is the practice of cover cropping. In temperate climates, such as the U.S. Midwest, cover cropping occurs during winter when growing conditions for vegetation is minimized. Winter cover crops are crucial to climate mitigation because of their potential to dramatically increase soil carbon […]