Demonstrating Cover Crop Mixtures on Iowa Farmland:Management, Soil Health, and Water Quality Benefits

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Vol: 2017, Issue: 1

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Mark Licht; Liz Juchems; Jacqueline Comito; Matthew Helmers; Sarah Carlson
Iowa State University
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Iowa landowners and farmers increasingly are seeing the value of single species cover crops. However, in Iowa and the Upper Midwest, there has been limited research on using cover crop mixtures. In theory, cover crop mixtures have the same advantages as diverse species ecosystems like prairies. The most important advantage would be greater and more stable total plant growth. Mixing species with complimentary features can take advantage of multiple niches and environmental conditions in space, weather, time, and seasons.