Cover Crop Choices for Michigan Vegetables (E2896)

Many vegetable growers plant a winter cereal cover crop such as rye to prevent soil erosion by wind and water. Cover crops and forage rotation systems help growers build a healthy soil for healthy vegetables and reduce inputs while maintaining profitabili

Cover Crop Choices for Michigan Vegetables (E2896)

Introduction

Many vegetable growers plant a winter cereal cover crop such as rye to prevent soil erosion by wind and water. Cover crops and forage rotation systems help growers build a healthy soil for healthy vegetables and reduce inputs while maintaining profitability. Growers are experimenting with a wide range of cover crop options. Here we discuss both benefits and potential problems with incorporating cover crops in vegetable systems.

Challenges facing Michigan vegetable systems

1) Growers are facing a lack of rotational land (land-locked problems) due to increasing urbanization and the need to combat soil quality degradation associated with short rotations.

2) Growers must reduce use of pesticides, fertilizers and fumigants to protect the environment and profitability.

 

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