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Economic and Environmental Aspects of Cover Crops
- Economics of Cover Crops
- Business Opportunities with Cover Crops and Soil Health
- Environmental Impacts of Cover Crop Systems
Cover Crop Role in the Cropping System
- Cover Crops and Nutrient Management
- Cover Crop Impacts on Diseases and Insects
- Cover Crops, Herbicides and Dealing with Herbicide-Resistant Weeds
Digging into Soil Health
- Soil Health Principles
- Soil Health Testing and Practices
- Soil Biology and Organic Matter
Advanced Cover Cropping Insights from Farmer Experts
- Great Plains Perspective
- Central Corn Belt Perspective
- Eastern Perspective
Basics of Cover Cropping
- Introduction to Cover Crops
- Selecting and Establishing Cover Crops
- Terminating Cover Crops Plus Strategies for Planting a Cash Crop Following Cover Crops
Recordings of General Sessions
- Opening remarks by Jane Hardisty (USDA-NRCS Indiana) with video message Bill Northey (Iowa Secretary of Agriculture)
- Keynote: Growing a Revolution - Bringing Our Soil Back to Life, by David Montgomery (University of Washington)
- Farmer panel: Experiences with Cover Crops and Soil Health, with Dan DeSutter (Ind.), Trey Hill (Md.) and Jimmy Emmons (Okla.)
- Top 10 Ways Cover Crops Build Soil Health, by Rob Myers (North Central SARE)
- Plenary session: Carbonomics, by Keith Berns (Neb. farmer and Green Cover Seed)
2017 National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health
Session recordings are available from the second National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health. The event served as an opportunity to learn recent developments in how cover crops are being used by innovative farmers across the country and gain important insights on improving soil health from producers, conservation leaders and scientists. It was held December 7-8, 2017 in Indianapolis.
Special Topics with Cover Crops and Soil Health
- Organic and Specialty Crops
- Grazing Cover Crops
- Soil Health Policy Issues
Cover Crop Planting Dates and Seeding Rates
Matthew Ryan (Cornell University) discusses the necessity of proper establishment timing and seeding rates for maximizing cover crop performance. He explains how knowledge of the interaction between these considerations can provide management flexibility and increase cover cropping success.
Cover Crops for Soil Health Workshop
This three-day professional development workshop, hosted by Northeast SARE and Delaware State University in March 2016, addressed the latest research on the benefits and successful management of cover crops in grain, vegetable and animal production systems. All session recordings are available.
Overview of Cover Crop Developments Nationwide
Rob Myers (North Central SARE, University of Missouri) provides a national overview of where cover crops stand, including a review of farmer survey data, new equipment and proposed initiatives.
Farmer Panel on Cover Crops
Farmers Skip Paul (Rhode Island), Jeff Frey (Pennsylvania) and Perry Lilley (Maine) share their experiences with cover crops, including their motivation for using them, successes and challenges, factors that play into decision making around cover crops, and advice for ag service providers who want to encourage farmer adoption of this vital conservation practice.
Cover Crop Cocktails
Mitch Hunter (Penn State University) discusses the principles of how to assemble different cover crop species into a successful cocktail based on farm management objectives, crop rotation restraints, and which cover crop species traits are complementary.
Establishment Methods for Cover Crops and Cash Crops in Grain Production Systems
Steven Mirsky (USDA-ARS), Greg Roth (Penn State University) and Sjoerd Duiker (Penn State University) discuss common establishment methods for cover crops; the importance of matching the right cover crop species with the right methods; and other topics such as no-till versus tillage; optimal timing of cash crop establishment, drills versus planters, planter and drill attachments and set up; cover crop termination; and planting green.
Fitting Cover Crops in Vegetable Rotations
Ron Morse (Virginia Tech, emeritus) shares how to successfully fit cover crops into a vegetable rotation, including establishment methods, matching the right species to the right methods, recommended rotations and cash crop establishment.
Managing Cover Crops for Ecosystem Services in Vegetable Systems
Natalie Lounsbury (University of New Hampshire) discusses how to manage cover crops for such ecosystem services as: suppressing weeds, attracting pollinators, cycling nutrients, promoting biological diversity and controlling erosion.
Cover Crops: Current and Future Directions
This plenary discussion on current and future directions in cover crops features Greg Roth (Penn State, presenting on behalf of Scott Rushe, Seedway), Ramona Garner (USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Center) and Andrew Smyre (Perdue AgriBusiness). They discuss demand for cover crop seeds, the development of new varieties, and the agribusiness industry's role in supporting cover crops.
Evaluating and Improving Cover Crop Performance and Adoption
In this session, Sjoerd Duiker (Penn State University) discusses the possibility of adoption without government regulation or incentives, and Dean Hively (USGS) reviews the use of remote sensing to map cover crop performance, trends toward increasing wintertime ground cover and watershed-scale performance.
Cover Crops as Part of an Overall Nutrient Management System
In this session, Steven Mirsky (USDA-ARS) and Heather Darby (University of Vermont) discuss the role of cover crops in integrated fertility management and address cover crops in the context of forages, dairies, perennials and pastures, and rotating pasture to grain.
Managing Soil Health With Cover Crops: Beyond the Basics
In this session, leading experts dive deep into the soil-related benefits of cover crops. Ray Weil (University of Maryland) discusses the physical benefits; Michel Cavigelli (USDA-ARS) explains how cover crop management affects soil health; and Stuart Grandy (University of New Hampshire) discusses emerging concepts for harnessing microbes to build organic matter.