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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory » Research » Research Project #437444

Research Project: Selection to Distribution: Delivering Regionally Adapted Cover Crop Varieties to Organic Farmers

Location: Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-21660-005-051-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2019
End Date: Jul 31, 2022

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.

Execute field-based evaluations of the cover crop germplasm for both advanced-line testing and improvement of existing germplasm. Conduct performance ratings, selections, and seed collections. Centralize the national team database and seeds collected from selected lines and distribute around the network for further evaluation.