Cover Crops: Selection and Management
Better understand how legumes, grasses, brassicas and other cover crop species can contribute to your operation.
As part of the Missouri SARE State Program, Debi Kelly hosted two webinars on Cover Crops in fall 2012. Presenters included Charles Ellis, a Natural Resource Engineer with the Lincoln County University of Missouri Extension Center, and Rich Hoormann, an Agronomy Specialist with Montgomery County University of Missouri Extension Center.
Nebraska farmers Keith and Brian Berns found they could use cover crops in dryland farming to increase corn yields, and now are sharing their knowledge.
Charlie White, of Penn State Extension, presents case studies of how mixtures of different cover crop types performed at supplying nitrogen to a following corn crop and reducing nitrate leaching into the subsoil. Tools to assess nitrogen supplied by cover crops to the next cash crop are also discussed.
This session addressed the relative pros and cons of various cover crop species, including the less common cover crops and cover crops suited to grazing use.
Fact sheet series from the University of Florida IFAS Extension on integrating cover crops in vegetable production systems in Florida.
Whether you are new to cover crops or an advanced user, hear from two experts on how they chose and seed their cover crops.
Planning for proper spring management of your cover crop needs to happen before April. Learn from two experts in the field on a couple different methods for termination.
In 2013, Iowa State University Assistant Professor, Ajay Nair, received an NCR-SARE Professional Development grant to train agricultural professionals on concepts and application of cover crops in fruit and vegetable production systems. In a video, Nair demonstrates some of the benefits of integrating oilseed radish into vegetable cropping 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:
- Cover Crop Selection and Use in Organic No-Till Farming (2010, North Dakota)
- A Novel Approach for Optimizing the Benefits of Cereal-Legume Cover Crop Mixtures in Vegetable Cropping Systems (2009, Michigan)
- Selecting Cover Crops for Diverse Functions: An Integrated Soil Management Approach for Organic Strawberry Production in North Carolina (2007, North Carolina)
- Development of Winter Cover Crop Varieties and Complementary Mixtures for North Central Region Grain Systems (2006, Michigan)
- Evaluating Winter Cover Crops for the Environment and for Profit [on dairy farms] (2005, Ohio)
- Multipurpose Brassica Cover Crops for Sustaining Northeast Farmers (2003, Maryland)
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.