Are you looking for practical information on sustainable farming and ranching? You can find many books and bulletins on the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) website. SARE resource topic areas include soil health, ecological pest management, organic production, farm-to-table, season extension, pollinators, social resilience and many other important topics in sustainable agriculture. Both print and online resources are available. Materials are produced by SARE, farmers and researchers.

This article focuses on the three leading resources on cover crops produced by SARE, for more information about how to integrate cover crops into your farm management contact the MSU Extension
cover crops team. Farmers in Michigan plant cover crops to improve the soil and protect valuable topsoil from erosion. The more farmers use cover crops, the more they value this conservation practice due to the benefits they are seeing on the ground.

Cover Crop Economics: Opportunities to Improve Your Bottom Line in Row Crops looks at the economics of cover crops in corn and soybean rotations to help farmers answer that big question, when do cover crops pay? Largely based on yield and economic data gathered over five years of national cover crop surveys, this bulletin addresses the kinds of economic returns that can be expected from cover crops both under various management scenarios and as cover crops improve soil health over time.

Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects is a bulletin that will help you use cover crops to encourage populations of pollinators and beneficial insects on your farm while you address other resource concerns. It begins with an overview of pollinator and beneficial insect ecology, then describes cover crop selection and management, how to make cover crops work on your farm, and helpful and proven crop rotations. It will also touch on the limitations of cover crops and pesticide harm reduction, among other topics.

Managing Cover Crops Profitably explores how and why cover crops work and provides all the information needed to build cover crops into any farming operation. Along with detailed management information on the most used species—including grasses, grains, brassicas and mustards and legumes—this book offers chapters on the role of cover crops in broader topics such as crop rotations, pests and conservation tillage. It also has appendices on seed suppliers and regional experts. You can download the book as a free PDF, purchase print copies online or reach out to Sarah Fronczak to request a free copy.

Related Content:

Grassland Oregon, SARE Spearheading Creation of Western Cover Crop Council,

Use Cover Crops to Support Pollinators,

Finding the Silver Bullet: A Cover Crop That Suppresses Weeds & Supports Pollinators