Nailing Down Better Cover Crop Performance

Results of NRCS national trials confirm the importance of choosing varieties that fit with local conditions, climates and no-till goals.

Pictured Above: LEAN AND GREEN. Irrigated cover crops on the Circleville, Ohio, farm of no-tiller Bill Richards, who formerly served as the head of the U.S. Soil Conservation Service. Recently released results from the NRCS’ national cover crop trials — involving more than 60 commercially available varieties — are helping to shed light on how different species and varieties perform in various regions of the U.S.

Even though cover crop acreage in the U.S. has doubled to nearly 10 million acres in the last several years, the industry itself is very young as applied to today’s cropping systems.

Farmers often find it challenging to sort out which species and varieties of covers work best in their type of farm operation and climate. Often they rely on crop variety trials to make informed decisions, but some farmers have complained the trials included varieties that are no longer commercially available. 

Recently, the NRCS’ Plant Material Centers (PMCs) released…

To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all No-Till Farmer content and archives online. Learn more about the different versions and what is included.

John dobberstein2

John Dobberstein

John Dobberstein was senior editor of No-Till Farmer magazine and the e-newsletter Dryland No-TillerHe previously covered agriculture for the Tulsa World and worked for daily newspapers in Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Joseph, Mich. He graduated with a B.A. in journalism and political science from Central Michigan University.

Top Articles

Current Issue


No-Till Farmer

Get full access NOW to the most comprehensive, powerful and easy-to-use online resource for no-tillage practices. Just one good idea will pay for your subscription hundreds of times over.

Subscribe Now

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings