Purdue University | Indiana CCA

Proceedings 2009

Indiana Certified Crop Adviser Conference

Selecting the Perfect Cover Crop- How Do I Decide?

Cover crops are receiving greater attention in the past few years among cash grain farmers.  Cover crops can improve soil tilth and biological activity, reduce erosion, trap nutrients, fix atmospheric nitrogen, and increase soil organic matter.  Different cover crops are better for some purposes than others, and no one cover crop will be able to meet all needs.  In order to choose cover crops for a particular field, producers need to evaluate the most important purposes for cover crops in that field, as well as timeliness and cost considerations.  This presentation will outline a process for selecting cover crops to fit within specific cropping systems and for different desired purposes of the cover crops.


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Dr. Eileen  Kladivko Professor of Agronomy
Purdue University

Dr. Eileen J. Kladivko is Professor of Agronomy at Purdue University, where she teaches and does research in soil physics, soil biology, and soil management. Her overall research focus has been to identify soil management systems that improve environmental quality and promote agricultural sustainability. Specific research areas have included tile drainage and water quality; the interactions of earthworms, soil management, and soil physical properties; conservation tillage and cover crops for soil quality improvement; and preferential flow of chemicals through soils. She is a founding member of the Midwest Cover Crops Council.

Barry FisherState Agronomist
Natural Resources Conservation Service