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 wild life 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