In the Southeast United States, development of conservation agricultural systems with excessive winter precipitation almost demands the simultaneous deployment of conservation tillage and cover cropping. Research in the region has repeatedly demonstrated the value of combining winter cover crops with no tillage for successful soil organic carbon sequestration and soil health development.
Roller-crimper technology has advanced considerably over the past decade to be more effective in timing of cover crop kill with or without herbicide assistance. Cover crops have key roles to play in controlling weeds and persistent pathogens in specialty crops. Legume cover crops are essential in supplying nitrogen to organic and conventional farming systems. And, cover crops can be excellent sources of forage to increase farm productivity and economic resilience if managed to avoid soil degradation.
Cover Crop News
Over two days in July 2016, the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and Southern SARE hosted the first-ever Southern Cover Crop Conference. Researchers, farmers, extension agents, and natural resource personnel from across the Southern region gathered to learn about and discuss cover crops at CEFS’ Field Research and Outreach Facility at Cherry Farm in Goldsboro and the University of Mount Olive (UMO).
The following resources are available on the Southern SARE website from the July 2016 CEFS/SSARE Southern Cover Crop Conference: