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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory » Research » Research Project #430050

Research Project: Creating the Cover Crops that Organic Farmers Need: Delivering Regionally Adapted Varieties across America

Location: Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-21660-005-035-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2015
End Date: Aug 31, 2020

1. Improve cover crop legume performance through germplasm screening: a. Create a legume cover crop germplasm screening program that evaluates hairy vetch, crimson clover, red clover, and Austrian winter pea for select agronomic traits of interest across a latitudinal gradient; b. Build a network of farmers who will aid in variety selection through participatory germplasm screening; c. Identify select cover crop accessions for seed increases and future improvement; d. Contract buying groups or germplasm curators to conduct cover crop seed growouts. 2. Disseminate knowledge gained from on-farm and on-station cover crop germplasm screenings and management experiments and engage farmers and agricultural professionals through on-farm field days, regional workshops, webinars, and the eOrganic website. 3. Establish the Eastern Cover Crop Council (ECC).

NEA along with Texas A&M, Cornell University, and North Carolina State University will: 1. Initate a multi-site cover crop germplasm screening program. Texas A&M, Cornell University and North Carolina State University contributions are as follows: 2. Coordinate all extension and outreach activities.