Source: The Durango Herald

Editor’s note: This is important news for farmers in dryland regions of the U.S., as many would like to take advantage of the benefits of cover crops, but are concerned they will use too much soil moisture ahead of cash crops.

The Southwestern Colorado Research Center has received a $249,269 grant to study how using cover crops can improve soil health for dryland farmers.

Five farmers in Southwest Colorado and southeastern Utah will administer test plots totaling 520 acres over a three-year period.

Varieties being considered are yellow clover, Austrian winter peas, sorghum, cereal grains, rye and others.

“Farmers in this area are saying their soils are very depleted from overuse,” said researcher Abdel Berrada. “Studies elsewhere show cover crops rejuvenate the soil and increase yields when cash crops are planted afterward.”

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