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Specialty crop growers can use protected agriculture technologies to manage risks associated with growing fruits and vegetables in unpredictable, often extreme weather events. Technologies include raised beds equipped with plastic mulch film, floating crop covers, low tunnels and high tunnel hoop houses.
Cover crops can provide soil health benefits, but it is important to have a plan. Before growing cover crops, producers should consider goals, herbicide and pesticide use, and available resources.
Generally speaking, a 1% increase in organic matter corresponds to an increase in soil water-holding capacity by about 20,000 gallons of water per acre.
A research study investigating the use of cover crops and tilled and no-till beef cattle grazing systems leads to more questions about crop rotations, species, economics and soil health.
Regenerating the land is achievable, but it is not a recipe. It starts with a belief that soil, water, plant, animal and human are all connected, meaning every decision must work with this natural rhythm and not in spite of it.
Rob Myers, Ph.D., regional coordinator for North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education at the University of Missouri, describes Bill Buckner, retiring president and CEO of the Noble Research Institute, as an advocate for cover crops who is committed to helping farmers and ranchers overcome challenges in adopting them for their soil health benefits.
Bill Buckner, president and CEO, describes how the Noble Research Institute is providing solutions to farmers and ranchers as they, and others in agriculture, realize the opportunities offered by cover crops.
Cover crops can boost soil health. But there is much to learn about which species work best in Oklahoma and Texas.
Sally Rockey, Ph.D., Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research executive director, shares her perspective on why FFAR's and the Noble Research Institute's investment in cover crops, and ultimately soil health, is important.
Jim Johnson, soils and crops consultant, answers a rancher's questions about which cover crop species work best in Oklahoma and Texas.