Cover crop mixes and plant diversity is critical in farming and ranching management to improve the soil health. Many commercial seed companies sell numerous species that can add plant variety to any operation.
However, all plants are not adapted to every environment. The objective of this study is to assemble, evaluate, and identify different cover crop species available to farmers and
ranchers and determine their adaptability throughout northcentral west Texas and southwestern Oklahoma.
Thirty-five potential cool season cover crop species were submitted by commercial seed companies and plant materials centers and
planted into an observation nursery at the James E. “Bud” Smith Plant Materials Center, Knox City, Texas on a Miles fine sandy loam soil and evaluated for plant growth and adaptability. Small grains produced excellent biomass ranging from 11 000 to 17 000 lb/acre and provided adequate soil cover within 50 days after planting. While the brassicas and legumes did not produce as much biomass as the small grains, many of them would provide suitable soil protection during critical erosion periods. All
thirty-five species show to be adapted to the PMC service area and could add diversity to any cool season cover crop mix.