The Midwest Cover Crops Council (MCCC) —made up of representatives from 12 Midwest states and universities, including Purdue, the province of Ontario and other agricultural stakeholders — is rolling out an improved cover crop selection tool that will help farmers make those decisions. The tool provides suggestions for row crops and vegetable crops. Users select their state/province and county and then select the goals they have for cover crops — erosion control, nitrogen scavenger, fighting weeds and providing forage, etc. They also can provide information about the cash crops they are planting and drainage data for their fields. The tool offers the best cover crop options for the specified conditions. Clicking on the cover crops brings up data sheets that offer more information about each crop, seeding rates and more.
“This gives good information about the species that will fit each user’s unique situation — their rotations, timeframes and goals,” said Anna Morrow, program manager for the MCCC and a staff member in Purdue’s Department of Agronomy. “We’ve been able to give users a visual way to take in and process that information.”
The updated tool includes more accurate seeding dates for each county based on 30-year National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration frost date data; changes to seeding dates and rates to align with new research; and is now mobile-friendly and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The tool has updated data for Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Ontario. North Dakota and South Dakota, which were not part of the original tool, have been added. The remaining four states, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska, have been recently updated or added to the tool and will be updated again over the next two years.
The updates were made possible by funding from North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program and Grain Farmers of Ontario.
-from a Purdue University press release by Brian Wallheimer. Read the full article here.