Many farmers have realized the multitude of benefits cover crops provide in terms of soil health and fertility. Most farmers, however, plant cover crops in the fall to protect their soils from erosion through the winter into spring while they do not have a crop planted. Summer cover cropping may be another option for growers interested in building soil health. Summer cover crops could be planted throughout the season and offer a wide range of species to select from so benefits are maximized. Another benefit to growing cover crops during the summer is increased whole plant above and belowground biomass. Maximizing biomass can help improve soil quality far quicker than cover crops grown during fall months. Although some of the investigated crops are planted in the northeast as forage crops, little is known about the potential for combining multiple species with the goal of maximizing soil health benefits. In 2014, the University of Vermont Extension conducted a summer cover crop mix trial. This is the first trial evaluating summer cover crop species mixes in the northeast. The trial was established at the Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, Vermont.
Vermont, University of Vermont
Darby, Heather; Blair, Katie; Cummings, Erica; Monahan, Susan; Post, Julian; and Ziegler, Sara, "Summer Cover Crop Mix Trial" (2014). Northwest Crops & Soils Program. 204.