Cover Crop Options for Spring 2019 Planting

Anna Cates, Soil health specialist, Liz Stahl, Extension educator and Phyllis Bongard, Content development and communications specialist Cover crop options for prevent plant acres & drowned-out areas

Excessive precipitation and persistently wet conditions have prevented the planting of corn and soybean in some fields and led to ponding and drown-out areas in others. On acres where “prevent plant” is claimed for insurance, the USDA-Risk Management Agency (RMA) requires protection from erosion and control of noxious weeds. Planting a cover crop to these areas can help control weeds and prevent erosion, while enhancing soil structure and preventing “fallow syndrome”.

Fallow syndrome can occur when there is not enough living root material for beneficial soil mycorrhizal fungi to survive. These “good fungi”, also known as AM fungi, facilitate the uptake of nutrients that are less mobile in the soil, such as phosphorus (P) and zinc (Zn).

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