In a short growing season like North Dakota's, effectively using cover crops can seem like a challenge. However, farmers are interested in including cover crops to meet specific on-farm goals such as minimizing soil erosion, moisture management, weed suppression and improving soil conditions that they are unable to achieve by only having their cash crops in rotation.
Establishing a specific on-farm goal is key to utilizing cover crops successfully. What is important is that those benefits and goals are different for every farm, really every field. Getting familiar with and then fine-tuning approaches is important to achieve desired outcomes. In this publication, NDSU soil health researchers, Abbey Wick, Caley Gasch, and Marisol Berti provide a starting point.
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This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.