COUNTY AG NEWS

With UW-Extension Ag Agent Ken Williams

Cover Crops in Wisconsin

Farmers in Wisconsin are constantly looking for ways to improve profitability and productivity of their farming systems while still protecting soil and water resources.

Cover crops are one tool that can provide a wealth of benefits into our Wisconsin crop rotations. Cover crops can enhance soil quality by increasing soil organic matter, stimulating greater soil biological activity, reducing soil erosion and utilizing extra soil nutrients. Farmers today are increasingly using cover crops as an effective best management practice. 

In the past cover crops have not been widely used in Wisconsin for a number of reasons, including a shorter growing season, need for increased management and break-even economics. Growing conditions also vary from year to year during the time when mid to late season cover crops are planted and getting established.

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