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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Agroecosystems Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #271974

Title: Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide

item Fisher, Barry - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, USDA)
item Gerber, Corey - Purdue University
item Johnson, Keith - Purdue University
item Kladivko, Eileen - Purdue University
item Nice, Glenn - Purdue University
item Robison, Dave - The Cisco Company
item Kaspar, Thomas - Tom
item Ackroyd, Victoria - Michigan State University
item Baas, Dean - Michigan State University
item Bird, George - Michigan State University
item Brainard, Dan - Michigan State University
item Goldy, Ron - Michigan State University
item Harrigan, Tim - Michigan State University
item Hausbeck, Mary - Michigan State University
item Mutch, Dale - Michigan State University
item Ngouajio, Mathieu - Michigan State University
item Renner, Karen - Michigan State University
item Sprague, Christy - Michigan State University
item Taylor, Erin - Michigan State University
item Hoorman, James - The Ohio State University
item Islam, Rafiq - The Ohio State University
item Petrosino, Justin - The Ohio State University
item Reeder, Randall - The Ohio State University
item Sundermeier, Alan - The Ohio State University
item Young, Curtis - The Ohio State University
item Brown, Chris - Ontario Ministry Of Agriculture
item Callow, Kristen - Ontario Ministry Of Agriculture
item Celetti, Michael - Ontario Ministry Of Agriculture
item Robinson, Darren - University Of Guelph
item Tenuta, Albert - Ontario Ministry Of Agriculture
item Van Eerd, Laura - University Of Guelph
item Verhallen, Anne - Ontario Ministry Of Agriculture
item Albrecht, Ken - University Of Wisconsin

Submitted to: Experiment Station Bulletins
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/4/2012
Publication Date: 3/6/2012
Citation: Fisher, B., Gerber, C., Johnson, K., Kladivko, E., Nice, G., Robison, D., Kaspar, T.C., Ackroyd, V.J., Baas, D.G., Bird, G.W., Brainard, D.C., Goldy, R.G., Harrigan, T.M., Hausbeck, M.K., Mutch, D.R., Ngouajio, M., Renner, K., Sprague, C., Taylor, E., Hoorman, J.J., Islam, R., Petrosino, J., Reeder, R., Sundermeier, A., Young, C., Brown, C., Callow, K., Celetti, M., Robinson, D., Tenuta, A., Van Eerd, L., Verhallen, A., Albrecht, K. 2012. Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide. p. 136. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Producers who want to prevent soil erosion, improve nutrient cycling, sustain their soils, and protect/maintain the environment have been returning to a very old practice: planting cover crops. Cover crops are effective tools for reducing soil erosion and increasing nutrient recycling on farmlands, which can decrease the soil and nutrient loads that enter lakes and waterways. Cover crops also can improve soil quality, pest management, fertility management, water availability, landscape diversification, and wildlife habitat. Although farmers have been using cover crops for centuries, today’s producers grew up in a generation that has little experience with them. As they rediscover the role that cover crops can play in sustainable farming systems, many growers lack the experience and information to take advantage of all the potential benefits cover crops can offer. That inexperience can lead to costly mistakes. This guide will help farmers effectively select, grow, and use cover crops in their farming systems. While this guide isn’t the final word on cover crops, it is meant to be a useful reference.