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Mixed-species forage crops can have similar benefits as traditional cover crops.
Benefits to managing for increased residue include reduced soil erosion and equipment costs.
Cover crops are a tool in agricultural production just as tractors and herbicides are tools. When used correctly and with purpose, they can be effective. When used incorrectly or with unrealistic expectations, they can be harmful.
Many factors should be considered to determine the economic value of cover crops.
Cover crops can add diversity to a system to benefit wildlife species in addition to extending the grazing season and improving soil health.
Noble Research Institute staff have experimented with growing cover crops in various environments in the Ardmore, Oklahoma, area over the past several years. Here are some observations.