Managing cover crops profitably

Using cover crops is important for both vegetable farmers and gardeners.

Not far behind the soil test, an important component of any effort to grow vegetables is the use and management of cover crops. One may ask, “Why should I consider using cover crops in my vegetable production or gardening program?”

Managing Cover Crops Profitably, Third Edition describes a number of reasons for using cover crops, including cutting fertilizer costs, reducing the need for herbicides and other pesticides, improving yields by enhancing soil health, preventing soil erosion, conserving soil moisture, protecting water quality and helping to safeguard personal health. One of the most valuable sections of the publication compares the various cover crops based on their performance and roles, cultural traits, planting, potential advantages and potential disadvantages. Each cover crop is presented in-depth relative to benefits, management and comparative notes to other cover crops.

Managing Cover Crops Profitably is a Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) publication, and can be available for purchase at the SARE website. Cost of the publication is $19 plus shipping, or an online pdf version is available at no cost.

For more information on using cover crops in commercial vegetable production or gardening, contact Dr. Hal Hudson, Michigan State University Extension horticulture educator for commercial and garden vegetable production, at 989-672-3870 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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