Cover Crop Research Project Funded by NIFA Grant
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has awarded a five-year, $10 million grant to North Carolina State University and USDA-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) to lead a collaborative, nationwide effort to enhance agricultural systems through the use of cover crops and precision agriculture technology. The interdisciplinary team of nearly 100 scientists at 36 institutions in 23 states will research how cover crops can impact key factors like pest and disease pressure, water use, soil nutrient levels, and overall yield of cash crops. An existing research network, called Precision Sustainable Agriculture, will expand in order to collect more types of data from more locations, with diverse climates and different soil types. The project aims to accelerate the adoption of cover crops to address challenges in agriculture and to create more sustainable and adaptable growing systems in the face of declining soil fertility, water scarcity, and climate change.