Providing a better understanding of cover crop-soil interactions

Grants and Contracts Details


The benefits of cover crop use are widely recognized and promoted, yet implementation lags across the nation, particularly following soybean. One reason is that soybean harvest is often too late in the season to allow for timely establishment of cover crops. Options producers have used include seeding into standing crops (aerial or high clearance machinery) or planting earlier maturing soybean to aid in timely cover crop establishment. Further, there is a lack of quantifiable data demonstrating the long-term agronomic and economic returns and the potential influence of weather and other regional factors on performance of these practices following soybean production. The overall goal of this project is to increase adoption of cover crop use by Kentucky farmers that improve soil health, increase nitrogen use efficiency, and reduce nutrient and sediment loading. We aim to provide quantifiable regional data that promotes economically sound production practices. We will meet these goals by pursuing the following objectives: 1) Demonstrate the soil health, plant growth, and nutrient cycling benefits and economic consequences of various cover crop practices through grower-led on-farm trials; 2) Extend findings to Kentucky producers through extension programs, publications, and other means as appropriate; and 3) Provide Kentucky specific data and local support for NRCS soil health programs.
Effective start/end date9/13/169/30/19


  • Natural Resources Conservation Service: $75,000.00


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