Cover Crops

Cover crops can improve soil health and quality. These crops provide structure to the soil with their roots. This structure improves water holding capacity and prevents soil erosion. The root structure can also penetrate through compacted soil. This prepares the soil for crops with weaker roots that would not have been able to grow in compacted soil. Cover crops can also prepare the soil for a crop by adding necessary or absorbing excess nutrients. Overall, cover crops can be integrated into an agricultural system to make it more efficient and productive.

Cornell University Reduced Tillage Vegetables– information on farmers who are implementing these practices, equipment, funding for equipment, herbicides, and case studies – http://www.vegetables.cornell.edu/reducedtillage/

SARE Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition– This resource explores how and why cover crops work, and provides all the information needed to build cover crops into any farming operation. Along with detailed management information on the most commonly used specie, including grasses, grains, brassicas and mustards, and legumes this resource offers chapters on the role of cover crops in broader topics such as crop rotations, pests and conservation tillage. It also has appendices on seed suppliers and regional experts.- http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Books/Managing-Cover-Crops-Profitably-3rd-Edition

USDA Cover Crops and Soil Health– This resource provides links to plant guides on specific cover crops and a fact sheet on cover crop termination guidelines – http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/plantsanimals/plants/projects/?cid=stelprdb1077238

Under Cover Farmers– This video follows farmers and their beginnings with using cover crops in their systems. They talk about the cover crop species, how to seed, equipment, benefits, if it is economically viable, and much more.

 

 

 

 

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