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Title: Small Grain Winter Cover Crops for Corn and Soybean

item Kaspar, Thomas
item Singer, Jeremy

Submitted to: Electronic Publication
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2008
Publication Date: 3/15/2008
Citation: Kaspar, T.C., Singer, J.W. 2008. Small Grain Winter Cover Crops for Corn and Soybean. Electronic Publication. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Winter cover crops are plants that cover the soil between harvest and planting of summer annual grain crops. While doing this, cover crops perform important environmental functions that include reducing soil erosion, accumulating nutrients, and increasing soil carbon. This educational module provides information about the benefits of small grain winter cover crops in corn and soybean cropping systems. The module also includes applied agronomic management information for farmers or managers that would like to use small grain winter cover crops. The information provided is based on work done in central Iowa, but can be extrapolated to a larger area with consideration for soils and climate. The objectives of this module are to review the benefits of using small grain cover crops and to discuss small grain species selection, management, and impact on main crop yields.