Cover Crop Studies & Trials

Cover Crop information map


The mid-Atlantic region has the highest percentage of arable acreage in cover crops in the United States, with some reports placing Maryland and Delaware as the two states with the highest percentage of total cropland planted with cover crops (Wade et al., 2015; Hamilton et al., 2017). However, the majority of producers in the region are only using grass cover crops, since legumes require earlier planting dates in order to over-winter (Mirsky et al., 2011; Clark, 2012). Farmers in this region have success with legume cover crops when planting them after wheat harvest or frost-seeding in the spring. However, most mid-Atlantic crop rotations include double-crop soybeans planted after wheat, which limits opportunities for establishing a legume cover crop. Low legume adoption is particularly problematic as farmers could use this cover crop before corn to maximize the opportunity for nitrogen fixation benefits.

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