Cover crops are an important tool in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy that can help meet the goals of reduced nutrient loss from the state. From the ability to protect the soil from erosion when the fields are typically brown to cycling nutrients and improving soil, cover crops can provide many benefits.
However, there are still many questions that come into the Iowa Learning Farms about cover crops. Most asked questions include: what kinds of plants can be used, when and how to seed and when and how to terminate. With help from fellow Iowa State University, Practical Farmers of Iowa, USDA-ARS-National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment researchers, ILF strives to help farmers, and other interested people, find the answers to these questions and more through ongoing cover crop research and demonstration projects.
Now available on the ILF webpage is a directory of 60+ cover crop projects led by ISU and colleagues. This sortable file contains brief descriptions of the projects, as well as contact information to learn more about each one. Also available, is a list of cover crop research and demonstration projects in Iowa compiled by Clean Water Iowa through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources.