Cover Crops: Establishment

Cover Crops: Establishment

Cover Crops: Establishment

Timely establishment of cover crops in the late summer and early fall is one of the most critical factors in having success with them.

Comparison of Cover Crop Establishment Methods


This research report from Practical Farmers of Iowa presents data about a cover of hairy vetch, tillage radish and rapeseed established in strips by both aerial seeding into standing soybeans and drilling after soybean harvest.

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Cover Crops for Soil Health and Nutrient Conservation and Update on the PSU Cover Crop Interseeder


Dr. Sjoerd Duiker presents how cover crops can be used to conserve nutrients over the winter, reduce erosion, and replace nitrogen fertilizer needs in the following crop. Dr. Greg Roth presents an update on the Penn State Cover Crop Interseeder, including results from field trials testing the establishment of different cover crop species when interseeded into standing corn crop.

Using Manually Operated Seeders for Precision Cover Crop Plantings on the Small Farm


This information sheet describes research in Virginia on using inexpensive, manually operated seeders to establish consistent cover crop stands.

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Innovative Ways to Seed Cover Crops


This session featured a panel of farmers talking about their experiences with a variety of approaches to seeding and establishing cover crops. 

Cover Crops Seed Selection and Planting


Whether you are new to cover crops or an advanced user, hear from two experts on how they chose and seed their cover crops.

Cover Crops in Organic Systems


These documents provide an overview of how the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service NRCS Cover Crop 340 conservation practice can be implemented on organic operations. Specific reports include Western Region, California, Idaho, and Oregon.

Also, visit SARE's database for reports on these research projects:

Dig deeper into cover crops research: SARE has funded hundreds of research and education projects related to cover crops since 1988. This topic room features only a glimpse into SARE's entire portfolio of cover crop research. To discover more, visit SARE's database of projects and conduct full text or advanced keyword searches.


Cover Crop Innovators Series

Watch 10 short videos of innovative Midwestern farmers describing how they have successfully added cover crops to their cash crop rotations. Learn more.


Farmers Say Cover Crops Work

SARE-CTIC CC Survey Report Cover

From increasing yield to improving soil health, find out why farmers use cover crops. For three years, SARE and partner organizations have conducted a national survey of farmers on their experiences with cover crops.

2012-2013 Survey: Summary and report (PDF).

2013-2014 Survey: Summary and report (PDF).

2014-2015 Survey: Summary and report (PDF).

Are you an ag educator or farmer interested in sharing the Cover Crop Topic Room at an event? Consider using this one-page flyer (PDF) or the four-page topic brief, Cover Crops for Sustainable Crop Rotations.