This book will not serve as the "encyclopedia of cover crop management," but it’s close. The benefits of a wide range of individual cover crops and blends/mixes for specific agronomic crop rotations and geographic locations are included. Descriptions, photographs, and illustrations show how cover crops look in the field, including plant height, leaf architecture, and rooting patterns. Long term benefits are described for soil health, soil structure, water quality, nutrient contributions, soil biodiversity, air quality and climate change.

In addition to the "whys" of cover crop use, the book includes details on the "hows:" how to choose cover crops for specific applications and locations; how (and when) to plant; how to manage and maintain the cover for maximum benefit; and how and when to terminate.

Planting options include: drilling/planting between rows of an agronomic crop at planting time, or when the crop is short (i.e. corn in early June); "aerial" seeding with an airplane or high-clearance machine shortly before the crop reaches maturity; and drilling/planting immediately after harvest of the agronomic crop. Selected cover crops (blends) can help with pest and disease management.

Cover crops are an economic input with an expected return on investment, similar to pesticides and fertilizer. As part of a continuous no-till system, cover crops provide long-term biological, chemical and structural benefits. The resulting increase in soil organic matter means the agronomic crop yields benefit from better water infiltration and water holding capacity, greater availability of nitrogen and other nutrients, deeper rooting, and increased soil microbial activity in the root zone.

chapter 1|15 pages

Cover Crops and Agroecosystem Services

ByRafiq Islam, Nataliia Didenko, Bradford Sherman

chapter 2|12 pages

Benefits of Cover Crops on Agronomic Crop Yield

ByKateryna Chorna

chapter 3|13 pages

Potential and Challenges of Growing Cover Crops in Organic Production Systems

BySutie Xu, Sindhu Jagadamma, Renata Nave Oakes, Song Cui, Erin Byers, Zhou Li

chapter 4|17 pages

Cover Crops in Vegetable Production and Urban Farming in Sub-Saharan Countries

ByMichael Kwabena Osei, Mavis Akom, Joseph Adjebeng-Danquah, Kenneth Fafa Egbadzor, Samuel Oppong Abebrese, Kwabena Asare Bediako, Richard Agyare

chapter 5|11 pages

Algorithms to Optimise Cropping Diversity with Cover Crops

ByM. Romashchenko, T. Matiash, V. Bohaienko, V. Kovalchuk, V. Lukashuk, R. Saydak

chapter 7|15 pages

Cover Crops for Pests and Soil-borne Disease Control and Insect Diversity

ByNataliia Didenko, Vira Konovalova, Somayyeh Razzaghi, Alimata Bandaogo, Sougata Bardhan, Alan Sundermeier

chapter 8|25 pages

Cover Crops for Forages and Livestock Grazing

ByRiti Chatterjee

chapter 9|23 pages

Cover Crops’ Effect on Soil Quality and Soil Health

ByM.A. Rahman

chapter 10|22 pages

Cover Crops for Orchard Soil Management

ByBiswajit Das, BK Kandpal, H Lembisana Devi

chapter 11|40 pages

Cover Crop Mixes for Diversity, Carbon and Conservation Agriculture

ByDC Reicosky, Ademir Calegari, Danilo Rheinheimer dos Santos, Tales Tiecher

chapter 12|18 pages

Cover Crops and Soil Nitrogen Cycling

ByT.T. Nitu, U.M. Milu, M.M.R. Jahangir

chapter 13|27 pages

Effect of Cover Crops on Soil Biology

ByHarit K. Bal

chapter 14|14 pages

Cover Cropping Improves Soil Quality and Physical Properties

ByYilmaz Bayhan

chapter 15|12 pages

Cover Crops Effects on Soil Erosion and Water Quality

ByBeenish Saba, Ann D. Christy

chapter 16|19 pages

Effects of Cover Crops on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

BySomayyeh Razzaghi

chapter 17|10 pages

Cover Crops Influence Soil Microbial and Biochemical Properties

ByE Amoakwah

chapter 18|10 pages

Economics of Cover Crops

ByMohammad S Rahman, James J Hoorman