Cover crops have been proposed as a good option to improve water quality, decrease soil erosion and increase soil productivity in Iowa fields. This project uses a cropping system model to test those proposals while allowing for potential effects of climate change on cropping systems at the same time.
What are the long-term impacts of a cover crop on soil and crop yields in corn and soybean crop rotations?
A cropping systems model platform, using field data from a research site in central Iowa, predicted that the continuous use of a winter rye cover crop in a corn-soybean crop rotation did not increase or decrease crop yields. It did reduce soil erosion by 18-29 percent, decreased nitrous oxide emissions by up to 34 percent and reduced soil carbon decline by three percent over the 45-year simulation period.
Fernando Miguez, ISU Agronomy
Sotiris Archontoulis and Andrea Basche, ISU Agronomy
Year of Grant Completion
Miguez, Fernando E., "Predicting long term cover crop impacts on soil quality using a cropping systems model" (2016). Leopold Center Completed Grant Reports. 504.