Cover Crop Resources
Links for more information.
“Rye takes up leftover nitrogen in fall and winter, then slowly releases it back into the system, and moisture conservation from cover crops is really good during short, dry periods,” notes Andy Clark. He earned a PhD in agronomy and has technical oversight for all publications produced by SARE, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.
Yet rye is only one of many crops suitable for cover in given situations. Clark recommends several cover crop information resources accessible in whole or part on the Web. The primary one is SARE’s own book on the subject.
- SARE offers diverse conservation information including its books Managing Cover Crops Profitably and Building Soils for Better Crops.
- The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service answers questions online from farmers.
- Midwest Cover Crops Council has an online decision tool for Midwestern U.S. and Ontario farmers.
- The Natural Resources Conservation Service offers a wide array of conservation programs including technical guidance for conservation work.
Cover crops are valuable on a big scale as well as on individual farms, notes Alan Sundermeier, an Extension educator in Wood County, Ohio, who works with SARE.
“In this Great Lakes region, we’re under the gun to clean up phosphorus and nitrates by using cover crops,” Sundermeier says. “Water quality issues are not going away.”Show Full Article