Editors' Picks


Berseem Clover as a Cover Crop Improves Alfalfa Production

For alfalfa producers needing to renovate fields suffering from winterkill or looking to increase the quality and yield of this season’s hay crop, improved cover crop varieties are a viable solution. Take berseem clover, for example. The synergistic relationship between berseem clover and alfalfa make the legume an effective companion crop due to its rapid summer growth, notable nitrogen fixation and similar appearance.
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Two States Investing in Cover Crops

Maryland has become a model of cover crop adoption. Indeed, cover crops are now one of the most common, accessible agricultural strategies for improving soil health and water retention and preventing nitrogen pollution in water and erosion—to the benefit of both the environment and the farmer. Read more in this article from Civil Eats.
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5 Principles of Soil Health to Increase Productivity

Jay Fuhrer, soil health specialist with the Natural Resource Conservation Service of the USDA, spoke about soil health. Fuhrer has identified five principles of soil health, and how they work to improve soil health and increase productivity. Fuhrer defined soil health is defined as “the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans.” Read more in this article from Grainews.
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USDA Investing $56 Million to Improve Water Quality

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will invest $56 million this year to help agricultural producers improve water quality in more than 300 high-priority watersheds across the country. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is continuing two of its successful landscape-level water quality efforts, the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) and National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI). Find out more in this article from Hoosier Ag Today.
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Ag Groups Discuss Barriers to Soil Health

Attendees included farm organizations, farmers, environmentalist groups, experts from Cornell University, the Department of Agriculture, plus representatives from the Soil Health Institute, New York Farm Bureau, Northeast Organic Farming Association, the New York State Vegetable Growers Association, and American Farmland Trust. Participants in the roundtable discussed their own efforts to improve soil health, as well as some of the barriers they’re facing. Find out more in this article from the Mid-Hudson News (Newburgh, NY).
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Do Cover Crops Provide Economic Returns?

An agricultural economist and an agronomist walk into a room … and a point-counterpoint debate ensues. “Cover crops are time-consuming and don’t provide economic returns,” the economist says, pointing to a survey of farmers not currently using cover crops. Find out how the agronomist responds in this article from KMALand.
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Impact of Surfactants on Water Conservation, Soil Health

The surfactants being used are chemically very similar to dishwashing soap and are listed in the same chemical group. But dishwashing soap is known to be toxic to plants, therefore chemical surfactants have been modified to be used frequently without the detrimental impact on grass. Find out more in this article from the Las Cruces Sun News (Las Cruces, NM).
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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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