Check out the newest video in the 5-Minute Ag Topic Video Series, found on the Paulding County YouTube Channel. This video, centered on cover crops, features Water Quality Extension Associate, Rachel Cochran, and Agriculture & Natural Resources Extension Educator, Sarah Noggle, both from our Paulding County Extension Office. To learn more about benefits that cover crops can provide, as well as tools for selecting the best ones to fit your goals, click the embedded video above!
Collaborators: Etienne Herrick, University of Michigan; Tim Boring, Michigan Agriculture Advancement
Funding: USDA NIFA Predoctoral Fellowship, University of Michigan’s Rackham Program in Public Scholarship
In the Great Lakes region, overwintering cover crops can provide numerous agroecological benefits, such as soil conservation and nutrient cycling, weed and pest control, and climate resilience. However, these benefits largely depend on the successful growth of cover crops, which can be highly variable across farms due to a range of environmental factors and management practices (e.g., soil type, planting strategies) that influence cover crop establishment and growth in distinct conditions. This project will use a citizen science approach to improve understanding of cover crop performance across variable conditions and, in turn, help farmers better achieve the benefits they can provide. Specifically, we will partner with Great Lakes farmers to identify: i) the extent of variation in cover crop growth across the region, and ii) which environmental and management factors best explain this variation.
By sharing information about their farms and management practices in a short online survey, and conducting a brief field sampling protocol to estimate cover crop growth, farmers will serve as key collaborators in a data-driven effort to improve cover crop outcomes. Results from this project will inform context-specific recommendations for optimal cover crop management across different farming conditions. This community-based research links academic and practitioner knowledge to advance food system sustainability and resilience.
We are seeking participants for spring 2022! If you are currently growing overwintering cover crops in the Great Lakes region and would like to participate, please complete this quick survey or contact email@example.com.
The OSU Extension 2022 soil health webinar series will present “What does the Research Tell Us about Cover Crops & Soil Health?” on February 3, 8-9 a.m. Join us as OSUE Field Specialist Elizabeth Hawkins and State Soil Specialist Steve Culman share recent Ohio research trial results. Come with your questions! We hope to use the chat feature to collect some ideas from you on things you’re trying or would like to see researched. Register at go.osu.edu/soilhealth2022 for this virtual event. And mark your calendar for our final session on March 3, “Hot Topics – What’s the Future of Soil Health?”
OSU Extension will host two educational field days focused on soil health and cover crops next week. Extension specialists and farmers experienced with cover crops will present on topics including inter-seeding cover crops into a growing crop, terminating cover crops, cover crop variety selection, and more. Field demonstrations cover crop plots, and equipment demonstrations will be on-site.
Each field day is free to attend. Registration is appreciated. Register at go.osu.edu/RegionalFieldDay
Monday, August 16th – 6:30-8:30 pm. Location: Klopfenstein Farm (Paulding County), 10136 Road 60, Haviland, OH. The event will feature Jason Hartschuh speaking about interseeded cover crops and Alyssa Essman will speak about cover crop termination.
Tuesday, August 17th – 2:00-5:00 pm. Location: Fayette County Airport, 2770 Old Route 38, NW, Washington CH, OH. This event is part of the Southwest Corn Growers’ Field Day, which is from 9:00-2:00 pm. Get more information on this field day here.
Know via his Twitter handle as the @CoverCropDr, Dr. Shalamar Armstrong is an Associate Professor of Soil Conservation and Management in the Department of Agronomy at Purdue University. He holds a B.S. degree in Plant and Soil Science from Southern University, an M.S. in Soil Fertility from Alabama A&M University, and a Ph.D. in Agronomy from Purdue University.
Paulding County is very excited to host a soil health tour round-up event with Armstrong as the keynote speaker. Speaker Shalamar Armstrong of Purdue University will speak on Cover Crops’ Effects on Nitrogen and Phosphorus Cycling and Fate, and certified crop advisor credits will be available for this talk. In addition, talk with farmers from Northwest Ohio about different practices used to improve soil health on their farms. This event follows the Northwest Ohio Soil Health Tour showcasing different soil health practices, such as reduced tillage, cover crop usage, manure usage, and structural practices such as controlled drainage and wetlands.
Soil Health Event – Thursday, August 19th from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM; networking from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM with speaker Shalamar Armstrong beginning his talk at 7:30 PM. A free meal is being sponsored by The Nature Conservancy and an RSVP is appreciated by Wednesday, August 18 by 5:00 PM.
Where: Soil Health Event – Paulding County Extension Building, 503 Fairground Dr. Paulding, OH 45879
Cost: No cost
RSVP: Registration is required for the Soil Health Event, as a meal will be provided at go.osu.edu/soilhealthtour
By Rachel Cochran, OSU Extension Water Quality Associate
Paulding County Extension will be hosting two events in Northwest Ohio in August: a soil health tour and a follow-up event with a guest speaker. The soil health tour includes stops around Northwest Ohio showcasing different practices to help improve soil health. A map of tour stops can be found at go.osu.edu/soilhealthtour and will be updated as tour stops are confirmed. Continue reading
WASHINGTON, June 1, 2021 – Agricultural producers who have coverage under most crop insurance policies are eligible for a premium benefit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) if they planted cover crops during this crop year. The Pandemic Cover Crop Program (PCCP), offered nationally by USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), helps farmers maintain their cover crop systems, despite the financial challenges posed by the pandemic.
The PCCP is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, a bundle of programs to bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers, and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions.
“Cultivating cover crops requires a sustained, long-term investment, and the economic challenges of the pandemic made it financially challenging for many producers to maintain cover crop systems,” said RMA Acting Administrator Richard Flournoy. “Producers use cover crops to improve soil health and gain other agronomic benefits, and this program will reduce producers’ overall premium bill to help ensure producers can continue this climates-smart agricultural practice.” Continue reading
The cover crop decision tool described in this article will be used in discussions during the 2020 Virtual Farm Science Review.
The following article is a reprint from the September 9, 2020, Purdue University Agriculture News.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Cover crops have been shown to improve water and soil quality, reduce erosion, and capture nutrients. Choosing the right cover crop, however, can be difficult.
The Midwest Cover Crops Council (MCCC) —made up of representatives from 12 Midwest states and universities, including Purdue, the province of Ontario, and other agricultural stakeholders — is rolling out an improved cover crop selection tool that will help farmers make those decisions. Users select their state/province and county and then select the goals they have for cover crops — erosion control, nitrogen scavenger, fighting weeds, and providing forage, etc. They also can provide information about the cash crops they are planting and drainage data for their fields. The tool offers the best cover crop options for the specified conditions. Clicking on the cover crops brings up data sheets that offer more information about each crop, seeding rates, and more. Continue reading
Article from CORN Newsletter on September 1, 2020 – By Mark Loux and Alyssa Essman, OSU
Herbicides with a residual that is used in corn and soybeans can affect the establishment of fall-planted cover crops and should be taken into account when planning cover crop practices and selecting species. Soil characteristics and weather also play a role in the persistence of residual herbicides, which can vary by field and year. More information is needed on rotational intervals for many cover crop species, and this information is often not included on herbicide labels. University weed scientists have studied the effect of residual herbicides on some of the most popular cover crop species in order to provide this information to growers. In general, residual herbicides that control grass weeds can hinder the establishment of grass cover crop species. Broadleaf cover crop species are most impacted by group 2 (ALS inhibitors), 5 (PSII inhibitors), 14 (PPO inhibitors), and 27 (HPPD inhibitors) herbicides (Purdue University). Continue reading
By Marcelo Zimmer and Bill Johnson, Purdue Extension
Indiana growers have shown increased interest in utilizing cover crops in our corn and soybean production systems over the last decade. Concurrently, there has also been increased utilization of soil residual herbicides to help manage herbicide-resistant weeds such as marestail (horseweed), waterhemp, and giant ragweed in our corn and soybean production systems. Soil residual herbicides can remain active in the soil for a period of weeks to months after application. The length of time a residual herbicide remains biologically active in the soil is influenced by soil texture, soil pH, organic matter, rainfall, and temperature. Since these factors will vary from field to field, definitive time intervals of residual herbicide activity can be difficult to predict.
The use of residual herbicides in our corn and soybean production systems may interfere with the establishment of fall-seeded cover crops under certain conditions. Unfortunately, many of the species being used for cover crops were not evaluated for herbicide carryover when field research was conducted to support EPA’s approved herbicide labels. As a result, data are lacking regarding rotational intervals of many residual herbicides for the establishment of many cover crop species. Continue reading
Join Hillsdale Conservation District on Thursday, September 3 for their 2020 Cover Crop Field Day hosted by Person Farms (19233 County Rd. 5.50, Montpelier, OH 43543; .5 mile South of W. Territorial Rd.). Please note, registration is required for entry. You may RSVP with names and numbers of guests to Allison Grimm at 517-320-3245; Cody Birdsell at 517-260-1276; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration and dinner will be from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. and the program will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a cover crop test plot tour followed by a cover crop trial and error open discussion. Credits offered include 2 MI RUP credits and CCA credits (pending approval).
Wheat provides many additional opportunities for your operation. These options include drainage improvements, weed-control timing, double-crop soybeans, double-crop forages, compaction mitigation, and soil building through cover crops. From the time wheat is harvested, there are about nine months for weeds to grow and soil to erode. If double-crop soybeans are not planted, the use of cover crops will protect the soil and assist with weed control. High populations of cover crops provide competition and soil cover to control weeds. Continue reading
By: Stephanie Singer, TNC Western Lake Erie Basin Outreach Education Specialist, Stephanie.Singer@tnc.org,
DEFIANCE, Ohio (June 9th, 2020) – The Nature Conservancy is looking for farmers who are currently utilizing cover crops on their farms in the Maumee River Watershed of the Western Lake Erie Basin. We are looking for a diverse group of farmers; large acreage, small acreage, corn and soy, small grains, livestock, new and experienced, willing to reach out and share their knowledge and experiences with other farmers in their area. Selected farmers will be compensated for their time. If you are interested in being part of this exciting farmer-led outreach project and would like to apply as a Farmer Advocate for Conservation please complete the online application form by using this Link. Or by contacting Stephanie Singer, Stephanie.Singer@tnc.org, Phone: 419-782-0652. Continue reading
The 2019 growing season came and went and left many fields in a state of disarray heading into 2020. Many growers that were unable to plant decided to use cover crops, to reduce soil erosion and provide some weed suppression during the extended fallow period. Terminating these cover crops using the right methods at the right time will be critical to ensure timely planting and prevent the cover crops from competing with cash crops. The three main methods of cover crop termination are natural (species that winter kill), chemical, and mechanical. Cover crops may also be bailed, grazed, or harvested as silage. Most species require some sort of management decision for termination. Cover crop species, growth stage, weather, and cover cropping goals should all be considered when planning termination method and timing. These decisions require a balance between growing the cover long enough to maximize benefits and terminating in time to prevent potential penalties to the following cash crop. Continue reading
By Sarah Noggle and Alan Sundermeier
Decisions, decisions these days. When it comes to selecting the right cover crop for your farm, there is no one-size-fits-all option. This document is to help those of you new to cover crops with the thoughts, questions, and decisions, one needs to make when selecting cover crops. Planting cover crops to prevented planting acres to protect the soil from further water and wind erosion.
Join us at Person Farms on Wednesday, August 21 for an advanced Cover Crop and Grazing workshop with guest speakers Steve Groff, “The Cover Crop Coach” and Jerry Lindquist, retired MSU grazing educator. Continue reading