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National Cover Crop Summit: Fall 2020 Edition

Integrating Livestock with a Cover Crop System

A Kansas grower and livestock producer shares how using graze cropping with livestock has helped accelerated soil health benefits during the online National Cover Crop Summit: Fall 2020 Edition.
Adding livestock to a cover crop system is considered the last step in bringing cover crops full circle in an operation. One Kansas grower and livestock producer shares insights from 35-plus years of no-till, 23 years of cover cropping and using livestock to increase his soil’s health and productivity while significantly reducing input costs.
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Rapid Soil Erosion Can Be Beat

Soil conservation efforts can help maintain healthy soils for thousands of years, in contrast to nearly a fifth of soils worldwide that have less than a century of life in them, according to a new study. The major new report from a global collaboration of scientists, including the UK’s Lancaster University, found that 90 percent of conventionally farmed soils were thinning, and 16 percent had lifespans of less than a century. Read more in this article from the Fresh Produce Journal.
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2020 National Cover Crop Summit: Fall Edition

Cover Crops Work for Dairies, Too

A fourth-generation dairyman shares how the largest automated dairy operation in Wisconsin uses cover crops for soil and water stewardship during the online National Cover Crop Summit: Fall 2020 Edition.
Dairy operations typically have one primary goal: make as much milk as possible, since that is the product they are paid for. Miltrim Farms, a dairy based in Athens, Wis., seeks to not just produce large quantities of milk, but also to be good environmental stewards of the land and water.
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Spice Up Corn & Soybeans with Cover Crops

A Kansas grower shares how his family’s no-till operation has successfully combined cover crops with both corn and soybeans during the online National Cover Crop Summit: Fall 2020 Edition.
Corn and soybeans are the two most common crops grown in the U.S. But many growers who raise those crops might not know how to break the corn and soy cycle to include cover crops.
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Utilizing Cover Crops

Cover crop utilization on cropland gained momentum during the period of high commodity prices, but adoption has slowed as producers are identifying opportunities to reduce production costs. Cover crops certainly have their place and the expense of planting, which includes the time required and capital investment, should be valued against soil loss and the overall cost of erosion in terms of decreased productivity. Read more in this article from the Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, KY).
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Aerial Imagery Can Help Determine the Impact of Cover Crops on Cash Crop Growth & Development

The benefits of planting cover crop mixtures include the potential for additional nutrients to the subsequent cash crop, improved livestock feed and improved soil health, among other benefits. Farmers adopting multispecies cover crops are also interested in learning about the yield response of the crop planted following a cover crop. Read more in this article from the University of Nebraska.
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Managing Full Season Cover Crops

Many farmers planted a full season cover crop on their prevented planting acres or are out there now planting a winter annual, like cereal rye. This is a great management approach because you’ve either managed water in those fields similar to what you would have done with a cash crop or you will be managing water next spring with cereal rye planted this fall. Read more in this article from AgWeek.
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Cover Crops After a Drought Can Impact Water Quality

The dry conditions throughout large areas of Iowa during 2020 reminds us of Iowa’s last significant drought in 2012 and the subsequent impacts on nitrate-N levels in subsurface drainage the following spring. There is a risk of elevated fall soil nitrate levels due to dry conditions this growing season. Read more in this article from the Aberdeen News (Aberdeen, SD).
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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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