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MSU working to prevent cover crop failure

A conservation agronomist is working with farmers to overcome challenges that come with incorporating cover crops.

Madelyn Celovsky with Michigan State University Extension tells Brownfield weather can be a barrier.

“This year was especially challenging, with harvest being delayed,” she shares. “Farmers that were planning on planting cover crops, a lot of them didn’t get it in.”

Celovsky says many farmers have tried cover crops before and abandoned the practice because of bad experiences. Her work with Extension and the Midwest Cover Crops Council includes training professionals about additional management for success.

“The trend and what we’re trying to talk about right now is how do we make sure that that first try isn’t a failure?” she explains. “What are the other adjustments that we have to make beyond just putting seed in the ground and letting it grow?”

She says interseeding before harvest, nutrient adjustments and proper timing of termination can result in better outcomes.

Celovsky is also creating an online cover crops course with the Midwest Cover Crops Council to provide research-based management training.

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