Clemson Cover Crop Research Shows Increased Soil Moisture

Clemson University researchers held a workshop recently where they shared results from a range of cover crop studies. Demonstration plots highlighted different cover crop mixes designed for fall/winter and spring/summer seasons. The researchers identified a mix of rye, oats, crimson clover, hairy vetch, rape, and radish as the combination that provided the most mulch. One researcher found that cover crops can increase soil moisture by as much as 10% in sandy soils. They also provide a host of other benefits, ranging from suppressing weeds to preventing soil compaction, fixing nitrogen, and adding organic matter. The researchers are also exploring variety choice and seeding rate alternatives that can reduce cover crop costs.