Soil Health

This topic is dedicated to providing information about how various cover crop species and varieties improve soil biology and soil health to help growers meet their production and environmental goals. Explanations of soil health processes, terminology and trends will also be shared here to provide a greater understanding of the link between cover crops and improved soil biology.

ARTICLES

Sunflowers Blooming as a Cover Crop

For use as cover crops, sunflowers have a robust root system allowing them to scavenge nutrients and they are also good for mycorrhizal fungi growth in the soil. The loftiest blooms around attract numerous beneficial insects and can lead to excellent honey production in nearby beehives as well. Read more in this article from Ohio's Country Journal.
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[Podcast] Interseeding Ideal for Wide Rows

This week’s podcast, sponsored by Yetter Equipment, features the second of a two-part series featuring Austin Carlson, Soil Health Technician with the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition. In part 2, Carlson discusses when interseeding should occur, interseeding a cover crop mix vs. a single cover crop species, environmental conditions that impact interseeding, and more.
This week’s podcast, sponsored by Yetter Equipment, features the second of a two-part series featuring Austin Carlson, Soil Health Technician with the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition. In part 2, Carlson discusses when interseeding should occur, interseeding a cover crop mix vs. a single cover crop species, environmental conditions that impact interseeding, and more.
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[Podcast] Follow the Combine with Cover Crop Seeding

This week’s podcast, sponsored by Yetter Equipment, features the first of a two-part series featuring Austin Carlson, Soil Health Technician with the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition. In part 1, Carlson discusses choosing the best cover crop seeding method, finding and calibrating cover crop seeding equipment, choosing the right timing for seeding covers, and more.
This week’s podcast, sponsored by Yetter Equipment, features the first of a two-part series featuring Austin Carlson, Soil Health Technician with the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition. In part 1, Carlson discusses choosing the best cover crop seeding method, finding and calibrating cover crop seeding equipment, choosing the right timing for seeding covers, and more.
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2 Cover Crops Have Potential to Reduce Nitrate Leaching

Research results from a study led by Extension specialist Fabian Fernandez at the Rosholt Research Farm in Westport, Minnesota show data from 2016 to 2019 for two cover crop systems: winter rye and Kura clover living mulch. The farm is in the Bonanza Valley and has an irrigation system. Read more in this press release from the University of Minnesota.
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Cover Crop Considerations When Dealing With Soybean Cyst Nematode

With the soybeans being harvested a little earlier than usual this year, some producers are finding themselves making management decisions which often include the use of cover crops. There are a lot of agronomic benefits for planting cover crops such as soil health, soil erosion control, weed reduction, animal feed, and nutrient recycling. Read more in this article from South Dakota State University Extension.
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Leave Crop Residue in the Field

After corn is chopped and combines move through fields, crop residue and stubble remains, leading some growers to tillage processes, yet soil experts continue to encourage growers to leave the stubble for the sake of soil health. According to the most recent Agricultural Resources Management Survey on the production practices of corn, cotton, soybean and wheat, data shows that roughly half (51%) growers used either no-till or strip-till at least once over a four-year period. Read more in this article from the Star-Herald (Scottsbluff, NE).
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Building Diversity & Soil Health

When David Neuharth started his 3Y3 Ranch in the 1980s near Hayes, S.D., he noticed a trend among area producers. “Everything in this country and in Stanley County around in the area was pretty much a 50-50 deal,” David said. “Half summer fallow … and the other half was winter wheat.” Read more in this article from the Aberdeen News (Aberdeen, SD).
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Turning Soil Test Results Into Action

Healthy soil is essential to agriculture, but it can be tricky to adequately assess soil health test results, which are influenced by biology, chemistry, fertility, time of sampling, timing of farming and other variables. That’s why the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) is developing a user-friendly, online tool to help farmers and agronomists easily interpret their soil health test results and convert them into an action plan. Read more in this article from the Iowa Soybean Association.
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Attend the Fall 2020 Virtual National Cover Crop Summit

Join the editors of Cover Crop Strategies and today's leading cover crop experts Nov. 17-18 for 2-days of productive online learning and networking during the third National Cover Crop Summit. This free-to-attend online event will deliver practical cover cropping ideas and advice to meet your specific needs.

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