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While most no-tillers know that cover crops can protect soil from wind and water erosion, a study conducted by the Conservation Action (CAP) Project at Napoleon, Ohio, points out even more potential benefits.
According to CAP coordinator Bill Rohrs, a recent 2-year nitrate recovery project shows farmers can use rye, wheat and oats as cover crops with no-till to gain a variety of benefits. Yield increases ranged from a low of 20 bushels of corn per acre to an increase of 30 bushels per acre. Soybean yield increases ranged from 0 to 6 bushels per acre. Among the benefits of using grass cover crops are:
This demonstration project was a continuation of a 1994 to 1996 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, an effort to simultaneously measure and apply nutrients.
It was designed to encourage farmers to use cover crops in their farming…