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What are Cover Crops?

Cover crops offer producers a viable way to protect the structure, nutrient availability, and water retention of their land's soil. Often used as a mixture of different seeds, cover crops are typically fast growing annuals planted before and/or after harvest to protect the soil from weathering and run-off during the off-season or through different crop rotations.

As outlined by SARE, cover crops offer 10 positive soil health impacts:

  1. Feeds many types of soil organisms

  2. Increases the number of earthworms

  3. Builds soil carbon and organic matter

  4. Contributes to better management of soil nutrients

  5. Helps keep the soil covered

  6. Improves the biodiversity of farm fields

  7. Helps aerate the soil, increasing water retention

  8. Reduces soil compaction, improving the soil structure and strength

  9. Makes the integration of livestock and field crops easier

  10. Greatly reduces soil erosion


How Do Our Farmers Use Them?

Read about Novak Farms cover crop use from their field day on September 1, 2022

The Uplands Virtual Conservation Roadtrip:

Stop #1: Meadowlark Organics

Stop #5: Joe Stapleton

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