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

A Recipe for Improved Soil Health

A carefully crafted cover crop composition, manure management, precision agriculture and the right mix of soil additives can be a recipe for improved soil health. Cover crops require a thoughtful approach. Read more in this article from Lancaster Farming.
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What Makes Healthy Soil?

Soil health has been defined as “the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living system, within ecosystem and land-use boundaries, to sustain biological productivity, maintain the quality of air and water environments, and promote plant, animal, and human health.” The challenge with this poetic definition is that, while it does describe the functional abilities of soil, it does not provide quantifiable values or measurements. Read more in this article from the Alberta Farm Express.
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Soil Sampling Time

September is a great time to take a soil sample. The soil sample can be submitted to the University Extension Service for analysis. Read more in this article from the Pontotoc Progress (Pontotoc, MS).
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Iowa Farmer Utilizes Cover Crops to Prevent Soil Erosion

An Iowa farmer is breaking up his rotation, reducing erosion, and providing additional forage benefits for his cattle by planting cover crops. Erik Helgerson, who farms near Lansing, Iowa, tried a unique sequence of cover crops this year on 11 acres near his home. Read more in this article from the Waukon Standard (Waukon, Iowa).
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Soil Health Defined

Soil health is a term that everyone seems to be confused about or have their own opinion. Soil health is about three things: soil organic matter (SOM), soil microbes and organisms, and plants. Read more in this article from Ohio's Country Journal.
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Cover Crops Strategies Podcast

[Podcast] Combining Cover Crops & Specialty Crops

Cover crops aren’t just limited to being used with traditional cash crops like corn and soybeans. This week’s podcast, from Hoosier Ag Today and the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative, discusses the types of cover crops to use with specialty crops, cover crop establishment and crop rotation.
Cover crops aren’t just limited to being used with traditional cash crops like corn and soybeans. This week’s podcast, from Hoosier Ag Today and the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative, discusses the types of cover crops to use with specialty crops, cover crop establishment and crop rotation.
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Canadian Growers Can Do Better with Cover Cropping

Farmers in Western Canada received good marks for increasing organic matter in their soil but a grade of D when it comes to cover cropping. The Soil Conservation Council of Canada released its first national soil health report card this spring — the first attempt to evaluate the state of Canada’s soil since the 1980s. Read more in this article from the Alberta Farm Express.
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Fixing the Water Cycle with Cover Crops

Fixing the water cycle—easier said than done, with so many demands on water resources around the world. In the U.S., many areas are starting to feel the pinch of reduced water quality or quantity, or both. Read more in this article from Organic Farmer.
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What to Know Before Planting Cover Crops

We all hear the benefits touted about cover crops- less erosion, having a living plant in the ground at all times, alleviating compaction, retaining nutrients for the next crop, giving food and shelter to microbes in the soil, and so on. It is a great list and will do some miraculous things to the soil. Read more in this article from The Daily Review (Towanda, PA).
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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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