Soil health is fundamentally important to crop productivity. Cover cropping is one method of improving soil health, by preventing soil erosion and nutrient runoff, improving soil aggregation and nutrients, as well as providing other benefits to soils and crop productivity. Cover crops have also been noted for their ability to suppress weeds. Some cover crops have been noted for their allelopathic characteristics, which can decrease the germination of weeds. No-till and reduced tillage practices can also increase water infiltration and reduce soil degradation while keeping carbon in the soil. Different types of cover crops, such as grasses, legumes, and brassicas, have different benefits for soil health and nutrient retention. Cover crops are even being utilized as a forage on dairy farms. There is a need for more research on cover crops to define the best species, varieties, and mixes for a Northeastern climate and for achieving higher cash crop yields. To examine the impact of winter terminated cover crops on yields of no-till spring wheat, the University of Vermont Extension’s Northwest Crop and Soils (NWCS) Team conducted a field trial with cover crops planted fall 2019 and spring wheat grown in the 2020 field season. The suitability of the cover crops as forages were also examined.


Vermont, University of Vermont, cover crop, no-till spring grain, grains

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