New MU Extension guide offers practical information on cover crops
COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension has released a new guide, “Cover Crops in Missouri: Putting Them to Work on Your Farm” (G4161), available for free download at extension.missouri.edu/p/G4161.
There is tremendous interest in cover crops in Missouri right now, notes Rob Myers, an MU adjunct associate professor of plant science and lead author of the publication. Wet weather prevented farmers from planting thousands of acres of soybeans. Farmers with prevented-planting insurance can plant cover crops as an alternative.
“We put together this short publication to provide some straightforward, practical information on how to get started with cover crops,” Myers said. “The six-page guide lays out a couple of simple rotation sequences for using cover crops with corn, bean or wheat rotations. There’s also some information on using cover crops with vegetable crops.”
Developed with input from MU Extension faculty along with experts from the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Agriculture Research Service, the guide includes information on the most common cover crops and recommended seeding rates for common cover crops planted either individually or in mixes with other cover crops.
Myers says the publication also provides guidance on managing and terminating cover crops, and describes the benefits of using cover crops.
“The benefits provided by cover crops are valuable not only for sustaining food production capacity but also for regenerating soil,” he says. “Although not a cure-all, they definitely increase the health of cropping systems.”