NC State University leading national initiative on cover crops

In Southeast Farm Press

Scientists from North Carolina State University are joining with others across the country to promote soil health by developing and helping farmers adopt new cover crops.

Made possible by a $2.2 million grant from Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, the new $6.6 million research initiative aims to “to get new cover crop solutions into the hands of those who use them or will be using them,” according to Twain Butler, a research agronomist with the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation who is leading the project. Continue reading

Making Cover Crops Work in No-Till Vegetable Production – workshop in South Carolina

Join our cover crop specialists for a practical look at using cover crops for no-till production. We’ll start in the classroom for an update on our USDA cover crop research project, and a discussion on nuts and bolts information like varieties, seeding methods, seeding rates, termination methods, planting vegetables into residue, and lessons learned related to all those things. Then we’ll head to the field (Student Organic Farm in Clemson and CREC Research Farm in Charleston) to look at plots, cover crop termination, and depending on timing we could observe planting vegetables into residue. We’ll finish with lunch and Q&A. We’ll also have some print resources available.  Each participant will receive a copy of the Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education Program’s publication “Managing Cover Crops Profitably”. Continue reading

Cover Crops Work? See them working in pictures

All across the United States, farmers are increasingly using cover crops to suppress weeds, conserve soil and control pests and diseases. But agricultural educators know that savvy farmers are reluctant about risk and often want to see cover crops in action before making significant change. SARE’s Library of Cover Crop and Soil Health Images is now available to help educators show producers how cover crops can work on their farms.

The collection includes over 1,500 photos and illustrations organized into 10 galleries. A soil health gallery features high-resolution illustrations compiled in a set of 20 PowerPoint slides for use in presentations.  Continue reading

NC State project aims for better cover crops

by Dee Shore, NC State University

Scientists from NC State University are joining with others across the country to promote soil health by developing and helping farmers adopt new cover crops.

Made possible by a $2.2 million grant from Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, the new $6.6 million research initiative aims “to get new cover crop solutions into the hands of those who use them or will be using them,” according to Twain Butler, a research agronomist with the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation who is leading the project. Continue reading

Clemson students studying ways to improve value of cover crops

In Southeast Farm Press

by Denise Attaway

A group of Clemson students is determining how to use shredded leaves to help increase the value of roller-crimped cover crops.

Cover crops are crops planted primarily to naturally manage soil erosion, soil fertility, soil and water quality, weeds, pests, diseases, biodiversity and wildlife. Roller-crimping involves attaching roller-crimpers to tractors, rolling over cover crops to flatten and damage them, leaving behind a thick mulch. Rye grass is the cover crop used in this study. Continue reading

Making Cover Crops Work in No-Till Vegetable Production

Join Clemson University cover crop specialists for a practical look at using cover crops for no-till production. We’ll start in the classroom for an update on our USDA cover crop research project, and a discussion on nuts and bolts information like varieties, seeding methods, seeding rates, termination methods, planting vegetables into residue, and lessons learned related to all those things. Then we’ll head to the field (Student Organic Farm in Clemson and CREC Research Farm in Charleston) to look at plots, cover crop termination, and depending on timing we could observe planting vegetables into residue. We’ll finish with lunch and Q&A. We’ll also have some print resources available.  Each participant will receive a copy of the Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education Program’s publication “Managing Cover Crops Profitably”.

Charleston, SC, April 19th

Coastal Research and Education Center

2700 Savannah Hwy

Clemson, SC, May 11th

Madren Conference Center

230 Madren Center Dr. Continue reading

Cover Crops Acting as Trap Crops Protect Vegetables from Pests

From Southern SARE

For farmers in central Florida, planting cover crops in strips as a trap crop alongside cash crops is proving to be a highly effective method for attracting beneficial insects and controlling pests. Farmers have been so pleased with the results that they have fully adopted the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy as an alternative to using chemical insecticides.

In a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) On-Farm Research Grant, two small organic farms teamed up with the University of Florida to test the prevalence of beneficial and predatory insects in strip plantings of selected annual cover crops, such as sunflower, rye, triticale, sunn hemp and buckwheat. Continue reading