Cropping Systems

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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.

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.

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.

Montana wheat farmer video

Improving Nutrient Use Efficiency in Montana Wheat

  "This was a landmark study because we knew we were losing nitrogen, we just didn’t know how we were losing it," says farmer Curtis Hershberger. When nitrogen fertilizers are applied to the soil surface using certain application practices, a significant amount can be lost when the nitrogen converts to ammonia gas and enters the […]

Cover Page of Cover Crops for Sustainable Crop Rotations

Cover Crops for Sustainable Crop Rotations

Cover crops are one of the best ways to improve soil health, reduce off-farm inputs and protect natural resources. Find a wealth of educational materials developed out of decades of SARE-funded cover crop research.

Researcher and farmer holding a tillage radish

For Vegetable Farmers, a New No-Till Tool in Forage Radish

Vegetable farmers who want the myriad benefits of winter cover crops may be setting themselves up for a hectic spring schedule, when the challenge of planting during a narrow window of good weather becomes more complicated by the need to first terminate that winter crop. To make their lives a little easier, University of Maryland […]

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Cover Crop Management and Termination

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.

Que es la Agricultura Sustentable

¿Qué es la Agricultura Sustentable?

Este reporte ganador de un premio provee un muestrario de mejores prácticas en la agricultura sustentable – desde el mercadeo y la vitalidad de la comunidad hasta cultivos de cobertura y pastoreo – así como ocho perfiles de productores, educadores e investigadores que las han implementado con éxito. 

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2014 National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health

All session recordings and slide presentations from the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health are available online. Held in 2014 in Omaha, Neb., the event brought together 300 agricultural leaders and innovators to explore how we can make American agriculture more sustainable through improved soil health. Attendees represented agricultural industry, the farm community, academia, government, commodity and conservation organizations.
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Broadcast of Opening Sessions

Watch opening sessions of the conference, held on Tuesday, Feb. 18 and broadcasted live to 230 locations across the country as part of the Cover Crops and Soil Health Forums.