Photo credit: Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The use of cover crops is having positive effects on the Iowa environment and also on the bottom line for farmers, and it appears the latest trend in that area will be even more beneficial. Cover crops are used in conjunction with cash crops mainly to help limit nutrient runoff and erosion on those acres over the off-season. At the Gabe Brown Ranch, covers are now used on all acres every year, and according to Brown, the next major shift will be to mixing species. “In many areas, they’re using monoculture cover crops, either rye or rye-grass. Well, what we’re finding is that by adding other species to those mixes, such as a legume or a brassica like radish, the benefit will increase substantially,” he said. “So, we’re going to see a big increase in producers using poly-culture covers.” –

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