Cover Crops

 Small Grain Cover Crops for Corn and Soybean - Learn about species selection, management, and pros and cons of cover crops including oats, rye, and wheat.

Authors: Jeremy Singer, Tom Kaspar, Palle Pedersen, ISU

 Cereal Rye for Cover Cropping in Organic Farming (from “Managing Cover Crops Profitably”) - Rye is the best cool-season cereal cover for absorbing unused soil N. It has no taproot, but rye’s quick-growing, fibrous root system can take up and hold as much as 100 lb N/ac until spring.

 Attitudes Toward Cover Crops in Iowa: Benefits and Barriers - To learn more about farmer opinions regarding cover crops, the 2010 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll included a series of questions about the potential environmental and agronomic benefits of cover crops, barriers to and benefits of cover crop use, and interest in learning more about them. This report presents the results of analysis of those data.

Authors: J. Gordon Arbuckle, Jr., and John Ferrell, Iowa State University Extension PMR 1010

 Answering Common Producer Questions on Cover Crop Use in Iowa - A cover crop is a plant grown to protect and enrich soil when the soil would otherwise be bare. Historically, cover crops were used by ancient Greek, Roman, and Chinese farmers thousands of years ago and, more recently, by colonial settlers on the Eastern seaboard of the United States. Decades of research on cover crop usage across the United States is available and a renewed interest has been given to cover crops’ ability to reduce some of the environmental impacts of row crop agriculture, particularly in regards to erosion and nutrient loss prevention.

Authors: Andrea Basche, Gabrielle Roesch-McNally, Rebecca Clay, Fernando Miguez, Iowa State University Extension CROP 3104

 No-Till Case Study, Miller Farm: Restoring Grazing Land with Cover Crops - Converting marginal cropland to grazing land can be accomplished by planting several years of a diverse cover crop mixture containing legumes, root crops, and more. For Ken Miller of Mandan, North Dakota, a cover crop cocktail helps break up the old plow layer, increase nutrient cycling, and improve productivity.

Author: Susan Tallman-NCAT Agronomist

 Managing Cover Crops: Cover Crops for Prevented Planting Acres - This publication briefly describes the benefits of growing cover crops on prevented planting acres and provides guidance for selecting and seeding cover crops on these acres.

Author: Eileen Kladivko, Agronomy Department Purdue University

 Plant Disease Suppression by Single vs. Mixed Species Cover Crops - This publication reviews the effects of different cover crops on plant disease control based on results from field trials. The effects of using single versus mixed species cover crops is described with different plant disease control mechanisms involved with each type.

Authors: Sun-Jeong Park and contributors from Ohio State University

 Intercropping Winter Cereal Grains and Red Clover - Research by Iowa State University and the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Soil Tilth Laboratory indicates intercropping of winter cereal grains, such as wheat and triticale, with red clover is a promising option for producers wanting to expand their crop rotation.

Authors: L. Gibson, J. Singer, S Barnhart and B. Blaser

 Cover Crop Choices Following Winter Wheat - Choosing the right cover crop species following winter wheat will depend on what benefits you would like, what species will work in your farming system, and how you plan on managing the cover crop. This article contains a list of recommended cover crop species following winter wheat and management considerations.

Authors: Paul Gross, Christina Curell, Dale Mutch-MSU

 No-till Drilling Cover Crops After Wheat Harvest and their Influence on Next Season’s Corn - A Michigan State University study comparing four cover crops

Authors: Dale R. Mutch and Kurt D.Thelen, MSU

 Using Cover Crops to Improve Soil and Water Quality - This fact sheet highlights the physical, chemical, biological, and economic benefits of using cover crops in a sustainable cropping system.

Author: James J. Hoorman-Ohio State University

 Winter Rye Cover Crop Effect on Cash Crop Yields: Year 4 - This article describes studies in Iowa to find out if a cover crop impairs succeeding cash crops.

Practical Farmers of Iowa

 Short Cover Crops Put Down Deep Roots - A cover crop and forage agronomist in the Midwest region discusses measurements of roots belonging to different types of cover crops. (Full website called “Plant Cover Crops” is within this article.)

Author: Dave Robison

 Overview of Cover Crops and Green Manures - This publication summarizes the principal uses and benefits of cover crops and green manures. Brief descriptions and examples are provided for: winter cover crops; summer green manures; living mulches; catch crops; and some forage crops.

Author: Preston Sullivan

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