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WHAT ARE COVER CROPS?

Cover crops are plants seeded into agricultural fields, either within or outside of the regular growing season, with the primary purpose of improving or maintaining ecosystem quality.

The goal of the Midwest Cover Crops Council (MCCC) is to facilitate widespread adoption of cover crops throughout the Midwest, to improve ecological, economic, and social sustainability.

 

WHAT DO COVER CROPS DO FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?
  • Enhance biodiversity
  • Increase soil infiltration, leading to less flooding, leaching, and runoff
  • Create wildlife habitat
  • Attract honey bees and beneficial insects

 

WHAT DO COVER CROPS DO FOR FARMERS?
  • Reduce erosion
  • Improve soil quality, through increases in
    • Porosity (reduced compaction)
    • Soil organic matter
    • Water holding capacity
    • Beneficial microbes
    • Micro- and macro-invertebrates
  • Retain nutrients that would otherwise be lost
  • Add nitrogen through fixation (leguminous cover crops)
  • Combat weeds
  • Break disease cycles

 

 

NEWS

New YouTube video: "Cover Crops: Benefits and Risks" available in the Multimedia section

 

Several fall field days have been added to the Upcoming Events calendar
Please email hiller12@msu.edu if you have events you would like added.

 

*New* UW Extension bulletin:
Herbicide rotation restrictions in forage and cover cropping systems

 

Cover Crops Field Guide
from MCCC & Purdue University
Cover crop field guide cover

 

Also, visit the SARE Cover Crop Topic Room for more excellent resources!

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Adobe Reader is required to view all pdf documents. To download, visit get.adobe.com/reader/.

 
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