National Farmer Survey Documents a Wide Range of Cover Crop Benefits as Acreage Continues to Expand
Despite the crippling rainfall that significantly delayed planting across much of the country in 2019, more than 90% of farmers participating in a national cover crop survey reported that cover crops allowed them to plant earlier or at the same time as non-cover-cropped fields. Among those who had “planted green,” seeding cash crops into growing […]
Conservation Tillage Systems in the Southeast
This production manual provides comprehensive guidance on conservation tillage systems for farms in the southeastern United States. It covers the core components of conservation tillage systems and includes both regional considerations and producer experiences.
Free Fact Sheets Identify Broad Benefits of Cover Crops
Along with cutting costs and increasing crop productivity, cover crops provide various ecosystem services that benefit the environment both on and off the farm. For instance, adding cover crops to a rotation can significantly increase the portion of the year when living roots are present for soil organisms to feed on, which can have a […]
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.
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.
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.
10 Ways Cover Crops Enhance Soil HealthSoil 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.
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.
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.
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)
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
Advanced Cover Cropping Insights from Farmer Experts
- Great Plains Perspective
- Central Corn Belt Perspective
- Eastern Perspective
Digging into Soil Health
- Soil Health Principles
- Soil Health Testing and Practices
- Soil Biology and Organic Matter
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
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
Special Topics with Cover Crops and Soil Health
- Organic and Specialty Crops
- Grazing Cover Crops
- Soil Health Policy Issues
Innovative Assessment Helps Farmers in the Northeast Improve Soil Health
Improving soil health without understanding the soil’s condition is not easy and traditional soil tests, though important management tools, don’t provide information on the physical structure or microbial life living in the soil. That is why a multidisciplinary team at Cornell University created a soil health assessment, which measures physical, chemical and biological indicators […]
Cover Crops for Soil Health Workshop
All session recordings and slide presentations from this three-day professional development workshop are available online. Hosted by Northeast SARE and Delaware State University in March 2016, this event addressed the latest research on the benefits and successful management of cover crops in grain, vegetable and animal production systems.
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.