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Using Cover Crops to Improve Soil and Water Quality

This is a literature review of cover crop benefits from Dabney et al. 2001 and Dabney 1996. Cover crop benefits include soil erosion protection, reduced nutrient leaching, carbon sequestration, weed suppression and integrated pest management. Cover crops protect water quality by reducing losses of nutrients, pesticides, and sediment. Only a small percentage of farmers actually plant cover crops because most farmers believe the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. This fact sheet attempts to highlight the physical, chemical, biological, and economic benefits of using cover crops in a sustainable cropping system.

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