Cover Crops

Cover Crops

Uncover the latest information on different species of cover crops and their benefits; tips on the equipment used to seed them; and how no-tillers are using covers on their farm operation to improve their no-till systems.

ARTICLES

National Cover Crop Summit: Fall 2020 Edition

Integrating Livestock with a Cover Crop System

A Kansas grower and livestock producer shares how using graze cropping with livestock has helped accelerated soil health benefits during the online National Cover Crop Summit: Fall 2020 Edition.
Adding livestock to a cover crop system is considered the last step in bringing cover crops full circle in an operation. One Kansas grower and livestock producer shares insights from 35-plus years of no-till, 23 years of cover cropping and using livestock to increase his soil’s health and productivity while significantly reducing input costs.
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New Tool Accounts for Nitrogen from Cover Crops, Soil Organic Matter

While the wide use of cover crops in rotations with corn in the last decade has resulted in reductions in nutrient pollution and sedimentation, the introduction of cover crops has muddled growers' decision-making regarding how much nitrogen fertilizer to apply to meet their cash crop demands. Researchers at Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences say they have developed a new decision-support tool that credits nitrogen mineralization from cover crops and soil organic matter.
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4 Ways to Optimize Cover Crop Benefits

Adding cover crops to your rotation can help improve soil health while offering flexibility to your no-till operation and improving the bottom line.
Prior to the Green Revolution, cover crops were very common in cash crop rotations, as they were recognized as being useful for fixing nitrogen (N), suppressing weeds and preventing erosion.
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2020 National Cover Crop Summit: Fall Edition

Spice Up Corn & Soybeans with Cover Crops

A Kansas grower shares how his family’s no-till operation has successfully combined cover crops with both corn and soybeans during the online National Cover Crop Summit: Fall 2020 Edition.
Corn and soybeans are the two most common crops grown in the U.S. But many growers who raise those crops might not know how to break the corn and soy cycle to include cover crops.
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Building a Case for the Economic Benefits of Improving Soil Health

To help farmers make informed decisions, the Soil Health Partnership is gathering data on the financial impacts of conservation practices.
FOR THE PAST 7 years, the National Corn Growers Assn. and their partners have been working to increase the confident adoption of soil health management practices today and in the future through the Soil Health Partnership (SHP).
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Breaking Through to the ‘Root’ Cause of Compacted Soil

Soil compaction can limit yields, cause flooding and runoff and limit nutrient uptake in plants. But breaking up compacted soils with iron is not the answer, according to soil health consultant Jim Hoorman — biology is.
Soggy fields and heavy grain carts are a common combination in fall, and can lead to deeply rutted and compacted fields. And it’s no joke. Soil compaction can reduce yields by up to 60% and it’s been shown to persist for up to 9 years, according to Jim Hoorman.
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Tracking & Tapping Into Natural Nitrogen Cycle Cuts Inputs

Iowa no-tiller Mitchell Hora uses weekly soil samples and the Haney test throughout the season to monitor naturally-available nutrients in corn and soybeans. The extra effort has cut his nitrogen rate in half.
Mitchell Hora spent the summer of 2014 scouting corn and soybean fields for E4 Crop Intelligence, and knew then he wanted to own his own consulting business.
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What I've Learned from No-Tilling: Taking No-Till Diversity Beyond the Annual Cycle

Wildflowers, perennial grasses, intercropped cover crops and more have this Idaho farm leading the pack in crop diversity.
Keeping soil in place in the Palouse can be a real challenge, one we haven’t always been the best at meeting. The growing season is short, and slopes can be as steep as 40-plus degrees.
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No-Till Farmer Influencers & Innovators

[Podcast] Dwayne Beck and the Dakota Lakes Research Farm: Part 2

For this episode of the <em>No-Till Farmer</em> podcast, brought to you by Mosaic Susterra, we’re bringing you part 2 of an interview that <em>Cover Crop Strategies</em> Associate Editor Sarah Hill did with Dwayne Beck, research manager of The Dakota Lakes Research Farm in Pierre, South Dakota, during the summer of 2020.
For this episode of the No-Till Farmer podcast, brought to you by Mosaic Susterra, we’re bringing you part 2 of an interview that Cover Crop Strategies Associate Editor Sarah Hill did with Dwayne Beck, research manager of The Dakota Lakes Research Farm in Pierre, South Dakota, during the summer of 2020.
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IMAGE GALLERIES

Keeping Busy with Cover Crops

Attica, Ind., no-tiller Dan DeSutter is always looking for ways to improve his cover-crop system. We visited him in the spring of 2016 when he was rolling/crimping his cover crops and planting soybeans.

To learn about DeSutter's operation, check out the What I've Learned from No-Tilling article: Rejuvenating Acres and Ramping Up Soil Productivity.

PRODUCTS

Soil Biology Report cover_0616

The Secrets of Soil Biology: How to Make it the Engine for a More Profitable No-Till Operation

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$15.95
Don't miss out on the next no-till breakthrough to help you push yields and profits! This timely and actionable report will lead you through new developments in soil biology. You'll learn the key players that make up your soil 'livestock,' the link between crop rotation and improved soil function and new soil tests that can shine a light on what's happening below the soil surface. View
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Covering Up, Part 3: Branching Out With Your Cover Crop Program

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$15.95
Looking to go from a single species to a cover crop cocktail, or to drastically reduce your fertilizer bill, or to extend the life – and benefits – of your covers by planting into them? Check out these success stories, learning experiences and new ideas to help you achieve your next cover-crop goal with No-Till Farmer’s third installment on cover crops. View
NNTC16 Audio Presentations

Watching Out for Herbicide Carryover in Your Early Seeded Cover Crops - Bryan Young - NNTC 2016 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

The increased application of herbicides with soil residual activity in corn and soybean production has complicated fall establishment of cover crops. Initially, the concern focused on the emergence and early vigor of cover crop stands, but has more recently been implicated by some individuals as contributing to a decrease in winter survival. As farmers explore methods for seeding cover crops even earlier in the fall or possibly inter-seeded with corn, the issue of herbicide carryover becomes an even more critical issue, says Bryan Young. The Purdue University weed scientist shares how we can make educated estimates of which herbicide and cover-crop combinations may be the most detrimental, but trial and error will prove to be the only reliable method of gaining local experience that directly relates to your farm operation.

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NNTC16 Audio Presentations

Maximizing Your Cover Crop Investment for Better No-Till Health and Profits - Darin Williams - NNTC 2016 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

Increased water infiltration, less erosion, cleaner water and improved overall health of cash crops are just a few benefits Darin Williams has witnessed since adding cover crops to his 2,000-acre no-till operation in east central Kansas. Williams discusses these benefits and several more, including how cover crops have reduced his weed population and chemical inputs and allowed his non-GMO crops to do just as well as GMOs. He also shares how adding livestock to the operation has maximized his investment in cover crops, as well as his experience in marketing cover crop seed to seed companies.

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NNTC16 Audio Presentations

Plant Green into Cover Crops This Spring - Jim Hershey - NNTC 2016 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

Jim Hershey challenges you to consider planting before you terminate your high-value cover crop in the spring. The Elizabethtown, Pa., no-tiller and president of the Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance has been practicing the “planting green” system on his corn, soybean, wheat and livestock operation using multispecies cover crops with great success. Hershey shares his experiences with this system and how it’s reduced his slug pressure to nothing. He also talks about the cover crop interseeder that was built on his farm and what he’s seen from it.

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NNTC16 Audio Presentations

Integrating a Diverse Rotation, Cover Crops and Livestock Into Your No-Till System - Darin Williams - NNTC 2016 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

Darin Williams wishes he had known about no-till and grazing cover crops when he decided to go into home building after college because he didn’t think he’d make it as a farmer in his community. But since he took up farming in 2010, Williams has been able to grow his no-till operation to 2,000 acres of non-GMO corn, soybeans, wheat, rye, triticale, winter barley and milo, and grazes his cattle herd on cover crops to maximize their investment. Williams also has a flock of sheep and recently added poultry. Considering organic matter to be king on his farm, the Waverly, Kan., no-tiller discusses the components that make up his no-till system, including why he tries to direct-market everything produced to consumers and how he marketed his grain for premiums in 2015.

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NNTC 2015 Speaker Presentation

Why No-Tilling ‘Green’ Isn’t Something To Be Afraid Of - Triosi and Criswell - NNTC 2015 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

Lucas Criswell and Gerard Troisi are convinced that corn and soybeans can be no-tilled into mature cover crops for higher yields and increased soil health, even while reducing fertilizer and herbicide applications.

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NNTC 2015 Speaker Presentation

Cover Crop Know-How From 30 Years — What’s Coming In The Next 30 Years - Steve Groff - NNTC 2015 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

Steve Groff has more than 30 years experience covering fields on his no-till farm in southern Pennsylvania. He’ll share his best tips for making cover crops more practical on your farm, including ways to get them planted in a timely manner, how they interact with nutrients in your soils, rotational decisions and other key discoveries through proven, field-tested practices and onfarm research.

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NNTC 2015 Speaker Presentation

Effects of Cover Crops, No-tillage & Tillage on SOC Sequestration, Storage, Retention & Loss - Kenneth Olson - NNTC 2015 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

Ken Olson will share results of a 12-year cover crops study in southern Illinois on the effects of soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration, storage and retention, as well as corn and soybean yields. The use of cover crops was studied on these previously eroded soils for its maintenance and restoration of SOC, and different tillage systems were set up with and without cover crops.

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NNTC 2015 Speaker Presentation

Improving Soil Structure, Reducing Compaction Naturally Within No-Till - Jim Hoorman - NNTC 2015 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

Long-term studies show soil compaction reduces yields by 30%. Jim Hoorman says poor soil structure and compaction are common, especially where conventional tillage has been used extensively, but even no-tillers often see little improvement or slow gains in soil structure.

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EVENTS

Live

Soil Management Summit

12/15/20
Mayo Clinic Event Center
1 Civic Event Plaza
Mankato, MN
United States
The Summit, formerly known as the Conservation Tillage Conference (CTC), features keynote speakers, breakout sessions, table talks and vendor booths. Attendees who stay for the entire conference will be offered CCA continuing education units (CEUs). Read More

DOCUMENTS AND FILES

Pluses and Minuses of Cover Crops

Now is the time to choose the right cover crop species to improve YOUR no-till operation. “The Pluses and Minuses of Today’s Most Popular Cover Crops” report reveals how you can pick and utilize the cover crop species that are perfect for your farm, and it’s FREE!

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