The educational materials listed on this page are about Green Manures.
Green manure plants are cover crops that are turned into the soil before they mature. Green manure crops, sometimes called green cover or green compost, are grown to suppress weeds and improve soil quality for the production of cash crops. In some permaculture systems, green manures are used for green mulch. Green manuring adds organic matter, nitrogen and other key nutrients as part of sustainable soil management plan. Green manures, along with other organic manures, can play an important role in sustainable crop rotations and soil fertility management. Green manure seeds are available from a wide range of seed dealers. Key practices include organic fertilizers, living mulches, permaculture, nutrient cycling, continuous cropping and cover crops.
The Cover Crop Topic Room can help you learn more about green manure by uncovering the various benefits that cover crops can have on soil fertility and soil management. Another resource to help farmers understand green manure and cover crops is SARE’s book Building Soils for Better Crops. This book lays the foundation for understanding soil fertility, soil structure, and overall soil management, and includes alternative cover crops like green manures. SARE’s Crop Rotation on Organic Farms A Planning Manual is a resource for farmers looking to integrate crop rotation into their operation in a sustainable way to enhance organic matter through green manures.
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Updated Building Soils for Better Crops Focuses on Soil Health Fundamentals
SARE’s newest book, the fourth edition of Building Soils for Better Crops, provides rich detail on ecologically sound practices for developing and maintaining healthy soils. It is a must-read for farmers, educators and students alike.
Building Soils for Better Crops
The fourth edition of Building Soils for Better Crops—enhanced and expanded—explains how to use ecological principles to build soil health and boost fertility, yields and overall sustainability.
Smart Water Use on Your Farm or Ranch
As producers throughout the nation grow increasingly concerned about water scarcity, farmers, ranchers and agricultural educators are beginning to explore new, conservation-oriented approaches to water use.
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 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.
Crop Rotation on Organic Farms
Crop rotation strategies that can be applied under various field conditions for conventional or organic crops to improve soil quality and health, and manage pests, diseases, and weeds
Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition
Managing Cover Crops Profitably explores how and why cover crops work and provides all the information needed to build cover crops into any farming operation.
Cultural Practices for Root-Knot and Root-Lesion Nematode Suppression in Vegetable Crop Rotations
This publication discusses the use of non-host crops, sorghum sudangrass and castor bean grown as cover crops, RKN-resistant crops, and the application of poultry litter (PL) and PL compost to manage RKN and root-lesion nematode.