Start Date

1-12-2016 12:00 AM

Description

Cover crops are frequently being promoted for the impact they have on reducing nutrient and sediment losses as well as improving soil health. There is no doubt that this is the case. Research across the United States has repeatedly proven these benefits. As a result, interest in cover crop use has risen dramatically over the last decade. However, such interest has not lead to widespread adoption of cover crops in Iowa. In 2015 it was estimated that approximately 500,000 acres of cover crops were planted in Iowa. That’s less than a half percent of the row-crop acres. Poor establishment, spring termination, impact on yield, and timing of seeding and termination are frequently cited as reasons cover crops are not adopted. Yet farmer champions can be found across the state that have adopted and excelled in using cover crops. Here are some best management practices that should be considered for beginning cover crop users.

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Dec 1st, 12:00 AM

Cover crops 101: Tips and tricks for getting started

Cover crops are frequently being promoted for the impact they have on reducing nutrient and sediment losses as well as improving soil health. There is no doubt that this is the case. Research across the United States has repeatedly proven these benefits. As a result, interest in cover crop use has risen dramatically over the last decade. However, such interest has not lead to widespread adoption of cover crops in Iowa. In 2015 it was estimated that approximately 500,000 acres of cover crops were planted in Iowa. That’s less than a half percent of the row-crop acres. Poor establishment, spring termination, impact on yield, and timing of seeding and termination are frequently cited as reasons cover crops are not adopted. Yet farmer champions can be found across the state that have adopted and excelled in using cover crops. Here are some best management practices that should be considered for beginning cover crop users.