Quantifying Nitrogen Scavenging Benefits of Cover Crops in the Mississippi River Basin
The sandy soils of Muscatine County, Iowa, are prone to erosion and leaching. In the fall, leftover fertilizer applied to the corn and soybean crop is highly susceptible to leaching. Cover crops have been widely acclaimed to mitigate such issues as they prevent erosion and scavenge residual nitrogen. Although these attributes are widely known, adoption of cover crops has been slow. Information on cover crop planting dates, performance, and advantages are available, but few data are available that is applicable to Iowa soils and growing conditions.
Integrating Cover Crops in High Tunnel Crop Production
High tunnels are plastic-covered, passively ventilated and heated structures where crops are grown directly in soil. They have become important tools for Iowa specialty crop producers to increase production of quality crops, extend the season, and increase profitability. The environment in a high tunnel, without rainfall, limited space, and potential climate control requires a unique set of crop management skills. High tunnel production is primarily dominated by tomatoes. Interest among growers focuses on year-round production in high tunnels.
Organic Agriculture - Iowa State University
Our mission is to educate producers, consumers and policy makers in the research and extension activities in Organic Agriculture both on-farm and in the Universities. Organic Agriculture involves a production management system based on the ecological principles of nutrient cycling, biotic regulation of pests and biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides are replaced by sunlight-based inputs, such as plant and animal residues. Premium prices for certified organic products drive the immediate economic benefits of Organic Agriculture.