New – Cover Crop Demo Plots Map!
CCSI is working on a comprehensive, interactive map of all cover crop demo plots in Indiana. Click to fill out a spreadsheet with your demo plot’s information. An example row is included in the first row in italics. Please make use decimal format for the latitude/longitude as it is most compatible with our map making program. Please send your completed spreadsheet to email@example.com to be included in the map.
Top resources for cover crop information:
- Midwest Cover Crops Council selector tool
- SARE – Managing Cover Crops Profitably
- Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide
- Ag Talk
- NoTill Farmer
- Plant Cover Crops (Dave Robison)
- Natural Resources Conservation Service
- And, of course, CCSI!
Cover crops are crops grown between the regular crops like corn, soybean and wheat. Examples of cover crops are annual ryegrass, crimson clover, oats, oil-seed radishes, and cereal rye. Cover crops are grown for a variety of reasons:
- Reducing soil compaction
- Covering the soil to protect it from erosion by wind and water
- Improving soil structure
- Increasing soil organic matter
- Fixing nitrogen
- Scavenging nitrogen from the soil that would otherwise be lost to percolation, runoff or volatilization
- Producing forage or pasture
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) released definitive guidance for a cover crop termination schedule. Download the report (PDF) here.
Agronomy Tech Notes
Fall Scouting and Treatment of Invasive and Herbicide Resistant Weeds
Terminating Cover Crops
Wet Spring Weather Cover Crops
Recommended Cover Crop Seeding Methods and Tools
Conservation Crop Rotations for Soil Quality and Soil Health
Spring Cover Crops Management - Agronomy “Crib” Notes, May 2014
Numerous cover crop trials are being conducted across Indiana by private industry, NRCS, Purdue Extension and the CCSI. Midwest Cover Crop Council Resources
- Midwest Cover Crop Council (MCCC)
- MCCC Cover Crop Selector Tool
- Support for the model is provided by: Dean Baas, PhD of the Michigan State University Extension, W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, Land and Water Unit
- Midwest Cover Crop Field Guide
- “This pocket-size, in-field reference will help readers effectively select, grow and use cover crops in their farming systems. It was written by members of the Midwest Cover Crops Council. Topics include choosing cover crops, fitting cover crops into your system, and positive and negative effects of cover crops. For details, including a sample of the contents, visit the Purdue Crop Diagnostic Training and Research Center.”
- Other Cover Crop Resources: Why Cover Crops After Drought? The drought of 2012 was the worst in many decades and will result in poor crop yields or crop failures across wide areas of Indiana and the Midwest in general. Besides the obvious impacts on crop yields, there are other effects of the drought that farmers should consider as they look ahead to this fall and next season. Fall-planted cover crops would be a good investment for many farmers this year, to benefit both their own farms and regional water quality. Learn More
- NRCS Cover Crop Termination Guidelines – Second Revision: This second revision modifies the rules for grazing a cover crop, adds a definition of a cover crop, and defines when a cover crop is considered terminated. Read more in this NSAC blog.
Cover Crops for Prevented Planting Acres (Purdue publication)
Excessive rainfall and prolonged ponding conditions this spring have resulted in many fields remaining unplanted to corn or soybeans this season. These “prevented planting” acres, while unfortunate for this year’s production, should be managed in ways to prevent further soil degradation and to increase soil productivity for next year. Cover crops are an excellent option for producers to consider for protecting their soil and increasing productive capacity for succeeding years. This article briefly describes the benefits of growing cover crops compared to leaving the soil bare and fallow, and then it provides guidance on selecting and seeding cover crops for prevented planting acres.
- Which Inoculant for What Legume? (Commercial publication)
- Planting Cover Crops At Side-dress Time?
- Adding Cover Crops to a No-till System
- Cover Crop Blog by Dave Robison, Legacy Seeds
- Cover Crops Following Drought
- Cover Crops for Modern Cropping Systems
- Cover Crops for Nitrogen Management
- Cover Crops for Northern Indiana: a Wisconsin Experience
- Cover Crop Webinars
- Decaying Oilseed Radish Attracts Large Number of Earthworms
- Fall 2011 to Spring 2012 Cover Crop and Soil Pits Report
- How do the herbicides you use in your cash crops impact cover crops?
- How to set your drill or planter for cover crops
- Innovative No-Till: Using Multi-Species Cover Crops to Improve Soil Health
- New High-Boy Cover Crop Seeder Built in Perry County, PA
- Radishes: A New Cover Crop Option
- Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program
- Young Farmer Proves Just How Deep Roots Go