Growing cover crops like this clover can benefit both grain crops and water quality, says CFAES’s Alan Sundermeier. He’ll give tips on getting cover crops off the ground — and then eventually back into it — on Wednesday at the North American Manure Expo in Ohio. (Photo: iStock.)
Past posts have noted the benefits, both agricultural and environmental, of cover crops. Learn how to grow them — and how they can help both with field crops and livestock — in five CFAES workshops for farmers this winter. (Photo: Forage radishes, iStock.)
Cover crops — clover, buckwheat, alfalfa and forage radish, to name a few — can help limit farm fields’ phosphorus runoff. Now an updated book co-written by CFAES experts gives farmers more details on growing them. Buy it here. Why it matters: Phosphorus in water can feed harmful algal blooms.
Even more about cover crops: CFAES experts helped write the latest Midwest Cover Crops Guide, and you can read about it, including how you can get a copy, here.
More about cover crops: “Farmers who add cover crops to their fields not only can help improve Ohio’s water quality, they can also cut input costs and improve their soil’s health,” said a 2014 CFAES press release.
Discover cover crops (see what we did there?) next in the Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series. The Turnwald Farm in northwest Ohio will host a Cover Crops Farm Tour from 6-8 p.m. this Thursday, Sept. 3. The tour will feature more than 10 different cover crops and cover crop mixtures after wheat that you can broadcast, drill, or apply with or without manure — at least 40 possible combinations in all. Cover crops’ benefits include richer soil and increased yields and income. Learn more here on p. 27. (More on cover crops. And, even more.)
South Dakota State University scientists working on a project led by CFAES’s Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor in the School of Environmental and Natural Resources, say no-till farming, cover crops and rotational grazing can help farmers reduce surface runoff to improve soil and water quality.
Data for their study, some 40 years’ worth, came from USDA and CFAES’s North Appalachian Experimental Watershed in Coshocton, Ohio.
There’s a lot to be said for cover crops, and a new guide says it. Co-written by CFAES experts, Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide shows the hows and whys of growing red clover (pictured with a guest), alfalfa and many others, including some new possibilities. Look inside here. Buy it here. Cover crops’ pros include protecting and improving both soil and water.
A March 17 workshop hosted by the All Ohio Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society will look at how farmers can reduce the off-site movement of soluble nutrients such as phosphorus. One way involves growing cover crops, such as the vetch shown here, which benefit the soil. Four of the speakers will be from CFAES. (Photo by James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org.)
Jeff Rasawehr, a family farmer in western Ohio, has had growing success with cover crops. They’ve enriched his farm’s soils. Improved their tilth. Cut pests and weeds. And revived yields. You can learn more next week (and visit his farm) as part of the Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series (pdf). Six groups, including Ohio State’s Sustainable Agriculture Team, are the sponsors.