With increasing focus on managing environmental impacts from agriculture, farmers are looking for ways to manage nutrients efficiently on their farms without sacrificing crop productivity. Cover cropping and no-till crop production are strategies that have been promoted as methods that help retain nutrients on farms and minimize losses to the environment. However, integrating these practices into the cropping system requires changes to other aspects of the system. For instance, manure management becomes more difficult when using no-till production methods as the timing or method of application may need to be altered to fit appropriately into the new production system. Farmers are curious what benefits to the soil, nutrient cycling, or crop production, may be realized from the additions of cover crops or transition to no-till methods within a corn silage cropping system. To help answer these questions, University of Vermont Extension’s Northwest Crops and Soils Program conducted a field experiment between the fall of 2017 and the fall of 2020 to investigate the impacts of cover crops, tillage, and manure application in corn silage.


Vermont, University of Vermont, cover crop, corn

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