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Cover Crop Economics
Cover crops can build soil health, control weeds, conserve moisture, provide grazing opportunities and more. But when do they start to pay for themselves? This analysis looks at the economics behind different management scenarios to determine if cover crops are likely to improve profitability in one, three or five years of use in corn and soybean rotations.
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.
Cultivating Partnerships: Building Farm-Research Networks for Improved Physical Weed Control
Managing and controlling weeds can be a challenge and a frustration for farmers, no matter the farm size or crop. Associate professor of horticulture at Michigan State University, Daniel Brainard, knows that weed management represents a major barrier to sustainable production of both field and vegetable crops. Brainard has been researching new tools and techniques […]
Cultivating Climate Resilience on Farms and Ranches
This bulletin outlines the new challenges that changing weather patterns pose in agriculture throughout the United States, and what you can do to make your farm more resilient.
Improving Soil Health Through Cover Crops
Farmers around the country are discovering the power of cover crops to curb erosion and improve soil health. This video is from Pennsylvania, where a Penn State researcher and a grain farmer are partnering to spread the word.
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.
Special Topics with Cover Crops and Soil Health
Organic and Specialty Crops Grazing Cover Crops Soil Health Policy Issues
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.
Sustainable Production and Use of On-Farm Energy
Using solar or wind energy or producing biofuels from crop feedstocks and anaerobic digestion helps farmers achieve energy independence while improving profitability and reducing fossil fuel emissions.
How to Conduct Research on Your Farm or Ranch
This 32-page bulletin outlines how to conduct research at the farm level, offering practical tips for both crop and livestock producers, as well as a comprehensive list of more in-depth resources.
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.
Cover Crop Field Tour Recap and Debrief
Attendees of the Cover Crops for Soil Health workshop have a short discussion reflecting on their tour of the long-term farming systems research project at the USDA Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Maryland.
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.
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.