Cover Crop Variety Trial 2012-2013
Over 100,000 acres of cover crops were planted in the fall of 2012. Cover crops protect soil from wind and water erosion and capture nitrogen that can otherwise leach from the soil. Nine cooperators from Iowa and one cooperator in central Wisconsin participated in this variety trial. Farmers collected ground cover data in the fall and spring for each plot using a cover crop measurement kit developed by PFI staff. Winter small grains had the greatest percent fall and spring coverage of all types following corn or soybean. Three legume species showed promise as overseeded species, providing fall coverage comparable to the winter small grains.