Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Future of cover crops: Although beneficial, farmers are often hesitant to use cover crops because of costs, time

Date:
July 13, 2011
Source:
American Society of Agronomy
Summary:
Cover crops can play a vital role in nutrient cycling, organic matter content and soil cover. Self-seeding cover crops may prove to be an efficient and cost-effective way for farmers to utilize cover crop systems.

Comparison of winter cover crop self-seeding following soybean harvest for treatments with different initial cover crop planting rates and mature cover crop seed dispersal methods.
Credit: Jeremy Singer

Winter cover crops are an important component of nutrient cycling, soil cover and organic matter content. Although its benefits are well documented, cover crop use in farming systems is relatively low. Research has shown that time and money are the two primary reasons why farmers are hesitant to adopt the technique. Developing innovative and cost-effective crop cover systems could increase the use of winter cover crops.

A scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and colleagues investigated the potential use of self-seeding winter cereal cover crops. Results from the study were published in the July-August 2011 issue of the Agronomy Journal.

Scientists measured the amount of green groundcover self-seeded winter cover crops produced after soybean harvests in the fall of 2007 and 2008. The study revealed that the cover crop's growth through self-seeding was most consistent using a wheat cover crop and mechanical seed dispersal before the soybean harvest.

"The significance of this research, in addition to lowering the cost and risk of establishing cover crops, is to extend the ecological functions that cover crops perform beyond their normal termination dates," explained Jeremy Singer, a researcher from USDA-ARS.

Organic crop producers can benefit from self-seeding cover crops because of the potential for enhanced weed suppression without disturbing the soil. Cover crops also increase nutrient retention and reduce soil erosion, which can improve water quality.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Agronomy. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Brock C. Blaser, Jeremy W. Singer, Lance R. Gibson. Winter Cereal Canopy Effect on Cereal and Interseeded Legume Productivity. Agronomy Journal, 2011; 103 (4): 1180 DOI: 10.2134/agronj2010.0506

Cite This Page:

American Society of Agronomy. "Future of cover crops: Although beneficial, farmers are often hesitant to use cover crops because of costs, time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110713121315.htm>.
American Society of Agronomy. (2011, July 13). Future of cover crops: Although beneficial, farmers are often hesitant to use cover crops because of costs, time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110713121315.htm
American Society of Agronomy. "Future of cover crops: Although beneficial, farmers are often hesitant to use cover crops because of costs, time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110713121315.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins