Keep your soil covered. Sounds simple, right?
We know cover crops improve soil health indicators like moisture retention and aggregate stability; they increase soil organic carbon and decrease erosion.
But there are downsides. Producers have to buy seed, make extra passes through the field after harvest to plant them, and terminate cover crops in the spring before sowing a cash crop.
There could be another way. With living mulch, a perennial plant that grows in the field alongside the cash crop – producers might be able to gain the benefits of cover crops without the yearly rigamarole of reseeding in the fall and terminating every spring.