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Multispecies Cover Cropping Promotes Soil Health in No-Tillage Cropping Systems of North Carolina

Moving agricultural production systems toward a greater level of soil health is needed for sustainability. Conservation agricultural systems utilizing no or minimum tillage are an important step forward, but enhancing carbon (C) inputs with diverse cover crops and facilitating biologically active nitrogen (N) cycling are also needed. Summer cash-crop systems, particularly in the warm-humid region of the southeastern United States, may benefit from multispecies winter cover cropping if sufficient biomass were produced. This study implemented a research and demonstration project utilizing multispecies cover cropping in 15 counties of North Carolina during 2015 to 2019 to assess biomass production and its effect on surface-soil properties.

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