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Cover Crop Options and Mixes for Upper Midwest Corn-Soybean Systems

The corn-soybean cropping system dominates the Midwestern U.S., and Iowa often leads in hectares of corn and soybean. Though corn and soybean are highly productive in Iowa for a portion of the year, the cropland is otherwise left bare, and in 2015 roughly 1.9% of farmland in Iowa was used to plant cover crops. Cover crop mixes have seen an increase in attention due to the result of increasing biodiversity. Iowa is known for its harsh winters; therefore, it is difficult to find new cover crops and mixes that can survive these harsh conditions. The goal of this study was to evaluate 16 potential cover crop treatments in Iowa, including cover crop mixes.

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