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

Cover Crops Strategies Podcast

[Podcast] Ask Your Cover Crop Seed Dealer the Tough Questions

Buying cover crop seed should be a transaction that benefits everyone involved—the grower and the seed dealer. That means asking the right questions to get the product you want and need for your operation. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
Buying cover crop seed should be a transaction that benefits everyone involved—the grower and the seed dealer. That means asking the right questions to get the product you want and need for your operation. Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff shares the top 5 questions to ask the next time you buy cover crop seed. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
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Cover Crops Strategies Podcast

[Podcast] Cover Crops Can Heal the Soil

Soils plagued with compaction, aggregation and/or poor water infiltration don’t have to be that way forever. Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff explains how cover crops can help to improve the soil through a process including evaluation, soil testing and strategic planning for that soil. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
Soils plagued with compaction, aggregation and/or poor water infiltration don’t have to be that way forever. Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff explains how cover crops can help to improve the soil through a process including evaluation, soil testing and strategic planning for that soil. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
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Using Cover Crops Leads to Significant Gains in Water Quality

The ability of cover crops to stimulate microbes deep in the soil of farm fields leads to significant gains in water quality but does not necessarily increase the capacity of soil to store carbon, according to a recently published study from Iowa State University scientists. The study, published in the academic journal Global Change Biology Bioenergy, analyzed soil samples that had undergone a wide range of long-term treatments.
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Improve Soil Health & Quality with Cover Crops

Planting cover crops and returning crop residues (stover) to the soil both add nutrients and improve overall soil quality. These practices are common with producers across the Midwest and have been recently studied by researchers to identify how they impact the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
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Greatest Soil Health Benefits Come From No-Till, Cover Crop Combo

For the last several years, many farmers have been adopting practices to improve the “soil health” of their fields. Often this includes no-till or reduced tillage, and the introduction of cover crops. While the basic soil health concept is relatively uniform, the way the practices are implemented is often very different from operation to operation. Read more in this article from Ohio's Country Journal.
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Cover Crops Improve Water Infiltration in Soil

Nebraska’s Andrea Basche and a colleague have found that planting perennials and cover crops may substantially improve the ability of soils to soak up heavy rainfall, potentially alleviating the most severe effects of flooding and drought. A synthesis of 89 studies across six continents has helped clarify which agricultural practices hold water when it comes to helping soils soak up precipitation — a factor critical to mitigating floods, outlasting drought and stabilizing crop yields. Read more in this story from The Fence Post.
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Attend the 2020 National Strip-Tillage Conference

Join the most innovative, forward-thinking strip-till farmers, agronomists and researchers today at the 7th annual National Strip-Tillage Conference in Omaha, Neb., August 6-7, 2020. Discover practical cover cropping techniques and hundreds of proven ideas to boost your strip-till yields and save on input costs.

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