Overview of Cover Crops and Green Manures

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Cover crops could be considered the backbone of any annual cropping system that seeks to be sustainable. In this publication we summarize the principal uses and benefits of cover crops and green manures. Brief descriptions and examples are provided for: winter cover crops; summer green manures; living mulches; catch crops; and some forage crops. To impart a sense for the importance of these practices in sustainable farming, we summarize the effect of cover crops and green manures on: organic matter and soil structure; nitrogen production; soil microbial activity; nutrient enhancement; rooting action; weed suppression; and soil and water conservation. Management issues addressed include: vegetation management; limitations of cover crops; use in crop rotations; use in pest management; and economics of cover crops. A selection of print and web resources are provided for further reading

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Table of Contents

Principal Uses of Cover Crops and Green Manures
Winter Cover Crop
Summer Green Manure Crop
Living Mulch
Catch Crop
Forage Crop
Benefits of Cover Crops and Green Manures
Organic Matter and Soil Structure
Nitrogen Production
Soil Microbial Activity
Nutrient Enhancement
Rooting Action
Weed Suppression
Soil and Water Conservation
Vegetation Management to Create a Cover Crop Mulch
Limitations of Cover Crops
Cover Crops in Rotation
Pest Management Benefits of Cover Crops
Economics of Cover Crops
Publications in Print
Web Resources
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Digital (PDF File), Hard Copy Mailed to You