Cover Crops do Double Duty: Cover and Grain

Cover Crops do Double Duty: Cover and Grain

Cover Crops do Double Duty: Cover and Grain

Cover crops have been increasing in popularity because of the benefits they provide to the soil and the environment, among others; however, they are rarely harvested. Not only can a cover crop protect soil from erosion during late fall and early spring when it’s most vunerable and following a corn or soybean harvest, it can also be harvested as a grain crop.

For this Practical Farmers of Iowa research report, a variety of winter small grains were tested as cover crops in the fall of 2010 to determine if these grains could be effective cover crops and also produce a quality grain crop, even though planted at a later than optimal date for typical grain planting. Most of the winter cover crop varieties tested effectively established, overwintered, and yielded grain the following summer.

Want more information? See the related SARE grant(s) LNC09-313, Farmer Field School Approach to Increasing Cover Crop Adoption in Iowa and Minnesota .

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This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.

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