Cover Crops: Soil and Fertility Management

Cover Crops: Soil and Fertility Management

Cover Crops: Soil and Fertility Management

From cycling nutrients to reducing erosion to breaking compaction, cover crops offer a host of benefits to soil and fertility.

Building Soils for Better Crops, 3rd Edition


Building Soils for Better Crops is a one-of-a-kind, practical guide to ecological soil management, now expanded and in full color.

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What is Soil Health


Soil health plays an essential role in raising healthy, productive crops and livestock. With this interactive infographic, learn how practices such as cover crops, no-till, crop rotation and the integration of livestock work in concert to improve soil health.

10 Ways Cover Crops Enhance Soil Health


Soil health is a hot topic these days, one that is justifiably receiving considerable attention from farmers and their farm advisors. This short fact sheet highlights some of the key ways that cover crops improve soil health by influencing the biological and physical characteristics of the soil.

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Organic Fertilizer and Cover Crop Calculator


This free online tool compares the nutrient value and cost of cover crops, organic and synthetic fertilizers and compost. Use this Excel Calculator to develop well balanced and cost effective nutrient management programs for your farm.

Estimating Plant-Available Nitrogen Release from Cover Crops


This Oregon State University fact sheet explains the basics of plant-available nitrogen (PAN); when to kill cover crops for the maximum PAN benefit; step-by-step instructions on how to perform site-specific measurements to predict PAN from your cover crop; and case studies from the Willamette Valley.


Using Cover Crops to Improve Soil and Water Quality


This fact sheet highlights the physical, chemical, biological, and economic benefits of using cover crops in a sustainable cropping system.

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Cover Cropping: On-Farm, Solar-Powered Soil Building


This information sheet gives an overview of how to use cover crops to maintain good levels of nutrients and organic matter in the soil.

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Soil Health Principles


This session covered basic principles necessary to build soil health.

Cover Crops as Part of an Overall Nutrient Management System


Learn from soil health experts about some of the latest research on impacts of cover crops on soil nutrients.

Cover Crops, Soil Health Principles and Maximizing Yields


Learn about basic soil health principles and how cover crops are key to making those happen on your farm.

Combining Livestock, Manure and Cover Crops


A livestock and cover crop combination is the fastest way to profit from your investment.

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.

Product specs
Format: Topic Briefs
Year: 2015
Location: North Central | Northeast | South | West

Farmers Say Cover Crops Work

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From increasing yield to improving soil health, find out why farmers use cover crops. For four 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)

2015-2016 Survey: Summary and report (PDF)

2016-2017 Survey: Summary and report (PDF)

Building Soils for Better Crops, 3rd Edition

Type: Book

Building Soils for Better Crops is a one-of-a-kind, practical guide to ecological soil management, now expanded and in full color.

Published: 2010
Pages: 294

Online Version: Free

Download File (6.76 MB)
Print Version:

Cover Crop Innovators Series

Watch short videos of innovative farmers from across the country describing how they have successfully added cover crops to their cash crop rotations. Learn more.