Type: North Central SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product
Cover Crops are an important addition to any farming system to improve soil quality and decrease soil erosion or nutrient loss. Cover crops are normally planted without the intention of a direct harvest. Rather, they are planted for the multiple benefits they provide to the farmer and the environment. In Iowa, cover crops are usually planted into standing corn or soybean crops or are planted after grain harvest. Farmers are concerned that a winter rye cover crop could negatively impact their cash crop yields.
In this research report from Practical Farmers of Iowa, fall cover crop impacts on corn and soybean yields are summarized.
Type: Northeast SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product
This software program calculates the annual difference between a farm's imported and exported nutrients (N, P and K). Teaching guides and instructions for the tool's use are also available.
Type: North Central SARE Multimedia
NCR-SARE grant recipient, Craig Maier, discusses the research his team conducted to learn more about improving forage production and quality with native legumes in grazed warm-season grass stands.
This fact sheet highlights the physical, chemical, biological, and economic benefits of using cover crops in a sustainable cropping system.
This fact sheet explains how growing cover crops can help farmers adapt faster to a continuous no-till system.
This fact sheet provides information about soil microbes, nutrient recycling, and microbial soil organic matter decomposition.
Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile
Will Allen is using innovative soil-building techniques and educational programs to lead the way in urban agriculture.
Hailing from small vegetable farms, cattle ranches and grain farms covering thousands of acres, the producers in The New American Farmer, 2nd edition have embraced new sustainable approaches to agriculture.
This fact sheet discusses how soil porosity, water infiltration, soil aeration, and soil structure increase under natural vegetation and no-till systems with continuous living cover.
This fact sheet provides information about specific attributes of different cover crops grown after each cash crop.
The results of this soil quality assessment suggest that ecologically based management successfully restoredbiological activity of silt loam soils previously under intensive conventional agriculture. The system practiced at the study sites illustrates how resources internal to the farm (i.e., composts) can be used to manage soil productivity.
Type: North Central SARE Portfolio Brief Sheet
Soil nutrient management is essential in maintaining efficient growth, fertility, and water quality in crop production. By analyzing soils, farmers are able to determine type, placement, application rate, and application intervals of nutrients to maintain short and long term productivity. SARE has supported advances by producers, researchers, and educators who are working to make soil nutrient management strategies more efficient and effective.
Type: National SARE Promotional Product
Order an entire set of SARE Outreach books and bulletins for one low price.
Type: North Central SARE Presentation
As part of the Missouri SARE State Program, Debi Kelly hosted two webinars on Cover Crops in fall 2012. Presenters included Charles Ellis, a Natural Resource Engineer with the Lincoln County University of Missouri Extension Center, and Rich Hoormann, an Agronomy Specialist with Montgomery County University of Missouri Extension Center.
In West Branch, Iowa, Scattergood Farm converted pasture from perennial alfalfa and clover to vegetable crop ground from summer 2010 to spring 2011. This research report from Practical Farmers of Iowa summarizes the effects of two cover crops or no cover crop on numbers of weeds and compaction measured by soil density in a vegetable crop following a transition from a pasture. Farm manager, Mark Quee, felt the cover crops assisted his conversion from pasture ground to vegetable plots. He felt the cover crops helped build soil and reduced weed pressure significantly in preparation for vegetable plants.
A Lincoln University researcher is training extension educators on emerging plant grafting technology and the relevant physiology.
This project investigated soil organic matter accumulations, soil respiration, and soil food webs in riparian grass filters on private farms in northern Story County, Iowa.
A group of farmers in Wimbledon, ND are working to turn a conventional chemically dependent farm into a fertile, sustainable, organic, farming unit. What started as a farm restoration project for the sake of their beef market ended by using all of the livestock to restore the soil.
Dan Forgey has farmed for 40 years based on the belief that if you take care of the land, it will take care of you, evidenced by his commitment to no-till, cover crops and crop diversity.
Options in grass may be the most profitable for CRP land when the long term cost of erosion is considered. Get the details on six income options: CRP, two rotational grazing options, two crop options (rotational corn/soybean), and alfalfa/orchard grass hay.
Managing Cover Crops Profitably explores how and why cover crops work and provides all the information needed to build cover crops into any farming operation.
Type: North Central SARE Promotional Product
Management-intensive grazing (MIG) maximizes the feed potential of pasture by moving grazing animals through a series of pasture paddocks. By monitoring the growth of pasture plants, producers can control the grazing activities of the animals, ensuring that they are harvesting the forages with the best nutritional quality. NCR-SARE has supported research and educational opportunities around the topic of management-intensive grazing in order to help producers reduce costs and increase profits.
Researchers at the University of Illinois are using sorghum-sudangrass as a summer smother crop in the battle against aggressive perennial weeds.
Dan Forgey describes how he grows cover crop mixes in synch with a cash crop of corn, and gets strong yields without chemical fertilizer.
Provides an outline of how management recommendations are developed and how a ground-based active sensor can be used. It contains 24 case studies (exercises) ranging from using historical techniques to overcome production barrier to calculating soil organic carbon maintenance requirements. A CD containing data sets is included with the book.
Nebraska farmers Keith and Brian Berns found they could use cover crops in dryland farming to increase corn yields, and now are sharing their knowledge.
This bulletin describes some of the many agronomic crop alternatives, with plentiful examples of on-farm successes.
Dan Forgey uses no-till, cover crops and crop rotations to build soil health, manage weeds and maximize rainfall.
Crop Rotation on Organic Farms: A Planning Manual provides an in-depth review of crop rotation, including how it improves soil quality and health and helps manage pests, diseases and weeds.
In this research report from Practical Farmers of Iowa, a variety of winter small grains were tested as cover crops in the fall of 2010 to determine if these grains could be effective cover crops and also produce a quality grain crop, even though planted at a later than optimal date for typical grain planting. Most of the winter cover crop varieties tested effectively established, overwintered, and yielded grain the following summer.
A fact sheet on the causes and techniques for managing saline seep, also known as alkali spots or slick spots.
Using sustainable agriculture practices on your rented land can help protect soil and water quality, increase income over the long term, and satisfy personal values for the landowner and/or the tenant.
This research report from Practical Farmers of Iowa presents data about a cover of hairy vetch, tillage radish and rapeseed established in strips by both aerial seeding into standing soybeans and drilling after soybean harvest.
Building Soils for Better Crops is a one-of-a-kind, practical guide to ecological soil management, now expanded and in full color.
Chris Chmiel is reinventing compost at his Albany, OH farm, Integration Acres Ltd.
Although Chmiel is widely known for his involvement in the Ohio Pawpaw Festival, through the help of a grant from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE), he has begun research on composting black walnut hulls for his SARE project “Black Walnut Hulls: Turning Trash into Treasure” trying to discover how useful they can be in compost, despite their bad rap.
Type: Fact Sheet
In a SARE-funded study in New York, a team of farmers, researchers and consultants addressed economic, labor and weather constraints in dairy farm rotations by developing an alternative forage cropping system with multiple options to produce high-quality forages. This system produces forage with yields comparable to traditional cropping systems, and is based on soil health management.
South Dakota farm manager Dan Forgey has improved soil quality and the bottom line by successfully introducing cover crops to his long-term no-till system.
The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) 75th Anniversary Committee offered the "What Soil Means in My World" Video Contest in honor of the SSSA 75th Anniversary in 2011. The overall winner was"Soil Our Nation’s Greatest Natural Resource" by NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant recipient, Elizabeth Sarno.
SARE produces an extensive library of books, bulletins and online resources for farmers, ranchers, and educators.
North Central Region SARE
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Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education ©2012