Online “Cover Crop Chart” updated
By Top Crop Manager
June 5, 2015 - An online tool called the "Cover Crop Chart" is helping U.S. farmers decide which cover crops to plant and is generating interest from growers in other countries.
In addition to U.S. customers, growers from 37 other countries have already used the chart since its initial release in 2010. Feedback from users highlighted the educational value of the chart and provided suggestions that are included in a 2015 update. The chart now includes 12 more crops for a total of 58 species, provides information on saline-tolerant grasses, and addresses the placement of crop species within a cash-crop rotation.
Patterned after the periodic table of elements, the interactive chart includes information on crop species that may be planted individually or in mixtures and gives specifics on growth cycle, relative water use, plant architecture, forage quality, pollination, and more.
The chart was created by USDA soil scientist Mark Liebig and his colleagues with the Agricultural Research Service's (ARS) Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory (NGPRL) in Mandan, North Dakota.