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.

Related Articles


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 March 1, 2015 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 March 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

AP (Feb. 28, 2015) Researchers following endangered killer whales spotted a baby orca off the coast of Washington state, the third birth documented this winter but still leaving the population dangerously low. (Feb. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Drinks for Your Health

The Best Drinks for Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) When it comes to health and fitness, there&apos;s lots of talk about what foods to eat, but there are a few liquids that can promote good nutrition. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the healthiest drinks to boost your health! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cherries, Snap Peas and More Tasty Spring Produce

Cherries, Snap Peas and More Tasty Spring Produce

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) From sweet cherries to sugar snap peas, spring is the peak season for some of the tastiest and healthiest produce. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best seasonal fruits and veggies to spring in to good health! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods to Battle Stress

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) If you&apos;re dealing with anxiety, there are a few foods that can help. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the best foods to tame stress. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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