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Home > Protecting Our Lands & Waters > Clean Water Fund > Clean Water Research Program > Cover Crops

The Cover Crops, Water, and Nitrogen Nexus: How do they impact corn and soybean production and the environment?

Principal Investigator: Axel Garcia y Garcia and Jeff Strock
Organization: University of Minnesota, Southwest Research and Outreach Center
Sponsor: Clean Water Fund
Award Amount: $450,223
Start Date: July 1, 2016  | End Date: June 30, 2020 
Project Manager: Heather Johnson (Heather.Johnson@state.mn.us)

The goal of the project is to assess cover crop strategies in a corn–soybean rotation to increase stability, improve resource use efficiency, and minimize negative impacts to the environment. Specific objectives are to:

  • Determine the effect of cover crops on water, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) use in corn-soybean rotations.
  • Determine the effectiveness of cover crops at reducing N and P losses via leaching.
  • Assess the performance of crop models to simulate the water and N balances on corn production in Minnesota.
  • Evaluate the cost-effectiveness of cover crops in rotations.

Results of the project will advance the understanding of the benefits and limitations of cover crops in corn-soybean rotations and their impact on the environment.

MDA Contact

Heather Johnson