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Cover Crops

 

GENERAL INFORMATION ON COVER CROPS

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

WEBINARS AND VIDEOS

BOOKS

CASE STUDIES AND RESEARCH


WHAT IS A COVER CROP?

A cover crop is a plant grown for the protection and enrichment of the soil. Cover crops can help reduce soil erosion, increase nutrients in your soil, control pests and diseases, as well as numerous other benefits. Check out how planting cover crops can help organic grains production thrive!

Click to download factsheet PDF

GENERAL INFORMATION ON COVER CROPS

 

USDA-ARS COVER CROP CHART

 

A wide collection of information about different cover crops provided by the USDA-ARS. The information is organized by species and includes facts such as designation of cool/warm season crop, crude protein amount, C:N ratio, and more.

 

MIDWEST COVER CROPS COUNCIL

The Midwest Cover Crops Council aims to increase cover crop coverage in the Agricultural Midwest. The website caters to the midwestern region with information on planting, equipment, management, and termination. There is a lot of great information specific to the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins.

 

COVER CROPS FOR VEGETABLE GROWERS

This website is part of a project at Cornell University that helps users use a broad range of cover crops to improve soil. It is full of recommendations for growers and other useful information.

 

 

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE RESEARCH AND EDUCATION

A topic brief on Cover Crops for Sustainable Crop Rotation. This is a great overview for beginners.

 

 

COVER CROPS DATABASE

An extensive database of cover crops for growers, researchers, agricultural extension workers, students and anyone interested in in-depth information on common cover crop species.

 

 

USDA NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE (NRCS) 

The USDA-NRCS website about cover crops and soil health. You will find termination guidelines, national study progress reports, planting guides, and more relevant cover crop information.

 

 

COVER CROPS FOR NO TILL

A website and blog devoted to reducing tillage in vegetable production and to increasing the use of cover crops in vegetable rotations.

 

 

IOWA LEARNING FARMS

Iowa learning farms provides some case studies about cover crops, as well as links to other insightful publications.

 

 

AG WEB COVER CROP RESOURCE GUIDE

A brief guide to using cover crops on your farm, including personal anecdotes and some simple statistics.

 

 

RODALE INSTITUTE

An overview of some of the challenges farmers face with weed management during a transition to organic, and how to address these issues.

 

 


EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
 

DIG A LITTLE, LEARN A LOT

Dig around this page for lots of easy to understand fact sheets about the basics of soil health.

 

 

SOIL HEALTH QUIZ

Take this quiz to see if you are a “Soil Health Scholar.”

 

 

HEALTHY SOIL INFOGRAPHICS

This page is full of healthy soil infographics that can easily be printed or shared on your website or newsletters.

 

 

COVER CROP FACT SHEET

Sustainable Farming Association made a one page fact sheet with easy to access information about cover crops.

 

 


WEBINARS AND VIDEOS
 

COVER CROPS, SOIL HEALTH PRINCIPLES AND MAXIMIZING YIELDS

This webinar explores basic soil health principles, and how to incorporate cover crops on your farm.

 

 

COVER CROP MANAGEMENT IN VEGETABLE SYSTEMS

The USDA and NRCS Soil Health Division present this webinar on cover crop management in vegetable systems. It will teach you how to include cover crops into vegetable systems and improve your soil health.

 

 

USING COVER CROP MIXTURES TO ACHIEVE MULTIPLE GOALS ON THE FARM

A webinar by Penn State extension about the use of cover crop “cocktails” to help achieve multiple goals on the farm.

 

 

COVER CROPS: AN IDEA WORTH PLANTING? 

“Cover Crops: An Idea Worth Planting?” is a 15 minute TedxMU talk about how cover crops can help make a resilient future for agriculture.

 

 

RODALE INSTITUTE ONLINE WEBINAR SERIES

View past webinars from Rodale Institute, including “Growing with Healthy Soil Biology.” Also, there is a link to participate in future webinars.

 

 


BOOKS
 

MANAGING COVER CROPS PROFITABLY 

Managing Cover Crops Profitably is a free to download e-book that uses science to explain how cover crops work and how to work them into any farming operation. It covers common species of cover crops, crop rotation, pests, and conservation tillage.

 

 

BUILDING SOILS FOR BETTER CROPS

Building Soil for Better Crops is a free to download e-book that provides a breadth of knowledge about sustainable soil management.

 

 


CASE STUDIES AND RESEARCH
 

JENEHR FAMILY FARM CASE STUDY

This article is about a Wisconsin vegetable grower that has been growing cover crops for over 10 years.

 

 

APPROACHES TO COVER CROPPING AND THE IMPACT ON SOILS AND FARMING SYSTEMS 

“Approaches to cover cropping and the impact on soils and farming systems” is a research project by New Farming Systems (NFS). They aim to explore ways of reducing the footprint of conventional farming systems, while improving sustainability, stability, and output.

 

 

PRACTICAL FARMERS OF IOWA RESEARCH REPORTS 

Practical Farmers of Iowa provide a page with links to various research reports on cover crops.

 

 

 


FOR FUN
 

COVER CROPS, A FARMING REVOLUTION 

An interesting article in the New York Times about cover crops, their history, and recent resurgence. It follows a family farming practice in Illinois and Indiana and their personal story with cover crops.

 

 

AERIAL COVER CROP SEEDING HELICOPTERS

A fun article about cover crop seeding helicopters.