By Gerrett Davison, Sustainable Plant Systems major
Cover crops have many benefits in many ways. Cover crops can benefit in many ways including preventing soil compaction. Tillage radishes, used as a cover crop, can go grow up to 3-foot-long and roots growing up to 3-foot long. This can be beneficial to the cash crop to help roots to expand and grow down for support.
Tillage radish also put nutrients back in the ground when they decompose. and can prevent wind and water erosion. The main purpose of cover crops is to build up fertility levels and prevent fertility levels from dropping off. Cover crops can be a tricky a crop to put out and be beneficial. Cover crops can mess up the fertility a lot if not grown correctly. If the cover crops are put out too late it will have no effect on the fertility of the soil. If put out to early it has the same effect they won’t build or prevent anything. Cover crops can be beneficial by building organic matter, and fracturing the compaction layers in the ground for roots to dig down deep. It benefits the environment as well by preventing erosion, and putting nutrients back in the soil which leads to less artificial fertilizer.
This blog post was an assignment for Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.