Cover crops have been all the rage these past couple years because they are one of the practices that farmers can use to reduce losses of nitrogen and phosphorus from farm fields. Additionally, there are countless research trials that have documented the ability of cover crops to reduce erosion, build up or recycle nutrients, enhance soil health, assist with weed control, and/or provide forage or grazing. Cover crops, however, are not an “add on”. Using cover crops requires a complete rethinking of your cropping system practices. Changes in priorities, timing, logistics, and operations are required to allow for successful implementation of cover crops into your cropping system. Adjustments may need to be made in the timing of nutrient application, timing or type of tillage practices used, timing of weed control and herbicides use, and timing of planting and harvest of main crops. For farmers and agronomists new to cover crops there are several tips and considerations that can ease the transition. Here are some suggestions to get you off to a successful start.
Iowa State University
Licht, Mark A. and Kaspar, Thomas C., "Tips and Considerations For Getting Started With Cover Crops" (2015). Integrated Crop Management News. 823.
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