Making the Most of Cover Crop Mixtures

Making the Most of Cover Crop Mixtures

Making the Most of Cover Crop Mixtures

Cover Crop - Charlie White

Cover crops provide different benefits depending on the species that is planted. They can improve soil health, provide nitrogen for cash crops, reduce insect pests and weeds, support a habitat for pollinators and beneficial insects, and manage water. The best way to get the most out of cover cropping is to diversify and plant mixtures of cover crops that complement one another. This article guides you through selecting and creating cover crop mixes, and answers other questions that will likely arise when planting them for the first time. 

The full article Making the Most of Mixtures: Considerations for Winter Cover Crops in Temperate Climates can be found on eXtension's website and includes the following information:

  • Tailoring a Cover Crop to Farm Management Objectives
  • Top 7 Reasons Farmers Use a Cover Crop Mixture
  • How to Make a Cover Crop Mixture
  • Building a Complementary Mix
  • Weed Suppression with Cover Crop Mixtures
  • Cover Crop Mixtures Adjust to Climate and Nitrogen Availability
  • Too Many, Too Few? How Many Species are Just Right
  • Methods to Establish Cover Crop Mixtures
  • Example Seeding Rate Calculation
  • Considerations when Terminating Cover Crop Mixtures
  • Conclusions and Additional Resources
Product specs
Year: 2015
Author(s): Charles White, Mary Barbercheck, Tianna DuPont, Denise Finney, Penn State University; Abbe Hamilton, Penn State University; Dave Hartman, Mena Hautau, Jermaine Hinds, Mitch Hunter, Jason Kaye, Jim La Chance
Location: Northeast | Pennsylvania
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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.