Cover Crops Research
Cover crops are a key component of agricultural sustainability and will play an increasingly important role in maintaining productivity in the face of global climate change. In addition to improving over-all soil health, they convert otherwise wasted solar energy into agriculturally useful products, mimicking natural ecosystems which always have actively growing plants when the soil is unfrozen.
Our cover crop research strives to develop Best Management Practices (BMPs) which will increase adoption by farmers and improve their bottom line. In addition to the goal of improving soil quality, we are investigating ways to reduce inputs and manage pests based on specific properties inherent in some cover crop species.
Current projects include:
- Cover crop strategies for organic transition and reinvigoration
- Cover crop options for prevented plant situations
- Organic quack grass control
- Estimation of red clover nitrogen credits and rotational benefits to corn
- Aerial seeding of cover crops in corn and soybean
This work is conducted in partnership with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Soil Science and the Nutrient and Pest Management Program of UW-Extension.