Published Feb 7, 2023

Thinking Through Cover Crops: How to Set Goals, Design Optimal Seed Mixes and Minimize Costs

By Practical Farmers of Iowa

Cover crop mixes can help farmers add diversity or achieve specific on-farm goals like cover crop grazing, weed control or improved soil fertility.

But if these mixes are created without identified cover crop goals in mind, mixes with many species can simply feel like an additional expense without clear benefit.

This farminar discusses how to tailor your summer or fall cover crop mix and match your on-farm goals while keeping costs in check.

Thomas Björkman is a professor in Cornell University’s School of Integrative Plant Science, based at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, New York. His work primarily revolves around cover crops in vegetable systems, vegetable physiology and production.

Though originally developed for vegetables, Thomas’ guide to cover crops for New York growers, and his system of cover crop goal-setting and selection, is directly transferable to row crops systems in the Midwest.

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