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Home > Protecting Our Lands & Waters > Clean Water Fund > Forever Green Initiative > Integrating Winter Annual Cover Crops

Integrating Winter Annual Cover Crops into Corn and Soybean Rotations in Minnesota

Principal Investigator:
Gregg Johnson, Associate Professor
Southern Research and Outreach Center

Project Summary

Field pennycress and camelina are proposed as crops that can fit into a production strategy aimed at greater profitability while providing needed cover to address critical soil and water quality issues. However, many farmers find current cover crop systems challenging, citing difficulties in establishment and termination and potential risk of crop competition when water is limiting. We are in the final stages of a large multi-year project designed to evaluate winter annual oilseed yield in a relay cropping systems with corn and soybean. This project supports a graduate student that will collect and analyze final plant and soil samples as well as write manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals and Extension bulletins.

Goals and Objectives: 
Our specific objectives are to:

  1. collect, process, and analyze fall 2015 plant and soil data, 
  2. develop manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed journal and
  3. work with Extension specialists to write bulletins around pennycress establishment and harvest timing in soybean and corn systems.

Anticipated Outcomes:  Results from the entire body of work around this project is seen as ‘foundational’ within the Forever Green Initiative portfolio in the sense that many of the essential agronomic questions can be addressed through this research. This work will allows us to take the next step in developing new strategies that further refine the system in a way that ultimately increases adoption of strategies for continuous living cover across the Minnesota landscape.

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