Workshop attracts hundreds interested in learning more about cover crops

Visit the Midwest Cover Crops Council’s website to learn more about using cover crops.

The Midwest Cover Crops Council held its annual meeting and workshop February 23-24, 2011 along with the Conservation Tillage & Technology Conference in Ada, Ohio, on the campus of Ohio Northern University. The agenda for the annual meeting was filled with research and extension reports from a diverse group of experts from academia, production agriculture, federal and state agencies, and the private sector. Updates were given from 10 states and Canada on activities with emphasis on regional efforts and collaborations. The meeting included discussions on building new collaborations to address soil, water, air and agricultural quality concerns in the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins.

In the workshops, speakers from across the Midwest and Canada covered 14 topics including research on oilseed radish varieties, tools to choose the best cover crops for your farm, practical cover crops for corn-soybean rotations, earthworms and their ability to build organic matter, aerial seeding of cover crops, and using cover crops to improve water quality. The program also included a panel of farmers describing how they incorporate cover crops into their operations.

Farmers eager to learn more about the benefits of cover crops in field crop production systems filled the many breakout sessions. Researchers from Ohio State University Extension have found that legume cover crops incorporated into a continuous no-till field crop system can produce enough nitrogen to complement and in some cases, replace fertilizer nitrogen applications. In addition, cover crops improve soil structure, support microbial diversity, help drainage, reduce soil erosion, reduce nutrient leaching, store carbon, suppress weeds, and can serve as a forage source for livestock.

Visit the Midwest Cover Crops Council web page at for more information on the annual meeting.  Additional information on this site includes; subscribing to the list serve, publications, research, cover crop resources, and upcoming meetings and workshops.

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