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Instead of leaving soil naked, coat it with cover crops

Jul 27, 2018
Grow "green manure" to keep soil from eroding, weeds from exploding and to add nutrients.

By Kym Pokorny | News Story

Buckwheat makes a good summer cover crop for gardens

Jul 18, 2014
Need a summer cover crop to add nutrients to your garden's soil? Try planting buckwheat.

News Story

Soil Improvement and Cover Crop Resources for Small Farms

Apr 2018
Even though different soils have some properties that cannot be changed, such as texture, soil quality can be improved by implementing good management strategies. Soils can be improved for water holding capacity, drainage, structure, and even the ability for plant roots to penetrate through the soil.

Collection

Function & Selection of Cover Crops

Dec 2009
When selecting a cover crop for a particular field, keep the end in mind. How does the crop need to function? Are you in need of a permanent crop like grass to stabilize soil and reduce erosion? Or perhaps you’re looking for a crop to increase soil organic matter and supply a nitrogen source in the winter, between cash crops? Maybe you need a summer cover crop ...

By Melissa Fery | Article

Establishing Winter Cover Crops

Jan 2011
In theory cover crops can protect soil from erosion, improve soil tilth, supply nitrogen (N), reduce weeds, provide nectar and pollen for beneficial insects, increase the winter survival of mycorrhyza, help to manage soil-borne diseases, and provide other benefits. In practice, it’s often difficult to establish cover crops in commercial rotations well enough to produce enough ground...

By Nick Andrews | Article

Exploring Cover Crops in Central Oregon

Dec 2018
Cover crops receive a lot of attention for the many benefits they can provide, such as: weed suppression, erosion prevention, improved water infiltration and water holding capacity, improved nutrient cycling, and the creation of pollinator habitat. There is an abundance of information in academic literature and from seed companies on the use of cover crops; however, there is only...

By Clare Sullivan | Article

Estimating Nitrogen from Cover Crops, Part 2

Dec 2009
Cover crops are widely used to reduce soil erosion and increase soil organic matter. When legumes are included in the seed mixture, the cover crop can provide a lot of nitrogen (N) and reduce the need for fertilizer. The N content of cover crop stands varies widely (figure 1), and we don’t currently have a reliable method for estimating the nitrogen value of the ...

By Nick Andrews | Article

Relay Seeding Cover Crops in Fall and Winter Harvested Vegetables

Jul 2014
Lots of vegetable crops (i.e. winter squash, some brassicas, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, etc.) are harvested late.  This makes it difficult to establish over-wintering cover crops after harvest. On many farms, these fields are left bare over the winter. Sometimes there are opportunities to establish cover crops by relay seeding (inter-seeding) them into established vegetable ...

By Nick Andrews | Article

Selecting Successful Cover Crops for Your Hop Yard

Sep 2019
This fact sheet is designed to help guide commercial hop growers in selecting cover crops. The guide discusses benefits and considerations or cons for four different cover crop strategies: annual fall planted, annual spring planted, annual re-seeding and perennial sod. Cover crop suggestions are tailored to western Oregon climate and regional cropping practices.

By Betsy Verhoeven | Fact Sheet

Estimating Nitrogen & Dry Matter From Cover Crops

Apr 2007
Cover crops are used by many farmers, but very few know how much nitrogen (N) or dry matter they are getting from their cover crops. There are some methods in the literature for estimating cover crop contributions. We are evaluating these methods in on-farm WSARE-funded trials in the Northern Willamette Valley to find the most practical and accurate method for use on ...

By Nick Andrews | Article