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News and Opinion

Coverage of cover crops since April 3, 2023.

Overall health of Chesapeake Bay gets C-plus grade in annual report by scientists

"...Last year, Pennsylvania planted about 340 miles (550 kilometers) of riparian buffers, which are strips of vegetation planted next to streams and waterways to help protect habitat, Dennison noted. The state also has focused on increasing the use of cover crops in agriculture to reduce erosion, improve soil conditions and protect waterways from runoff pollution..."

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Making soil and storing carbon in the Greenbelt

"...A group of researchers and conservationists is trying to bolster the soil health of hundreds of farms in Ontario's Greenbelt to help alleviate climate change. The two-year project offers farmers in the Greenbelt — a strip of protected farmland and conservation areas near Toronto — free soil testing and advice on how to improve their soil's health. Healthy soils are less prone to erosion and nutrient runoff..."

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Savour your favourite wine before climate change destroys it

"...As temperatures rise, a grape plant reacts in complex ways. “You need a degree of heat to get through the ripening phase, to get sugar accumulation, and then also get the ideal amount of development of some of these secondary compounds like anthocyanins and tannins — all the things that make wine exciting and interesting and have good mouthfeel,” says Elisabeth Forrestel, a viticulturist and ecologist at UC Davis who wasn’t involved in the new paper. “It’s when you exceed certain temperatures that it becomes problematic for the grapes..."

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Saskatchewan budget leaves producers with questions as potential drought looms Globalnews.ca

"...The budget includes increases in the overall funding put towards agriculture, as well as for risk management measures like crop insurance. In total, the budget includes more than $570 million towards agriculture. But with a drought expected to hit this summer, will the cash be enough to cover crop losses?“I think overall we're happy, APAS president Ian Boxall said..."

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Farmers in Alberta face growing risk of soil erosion events as drought persists Globalnews.ca

"...“The biggest challenge is once you lose it, it's hard for the soil to recover,” Chau said. “Losing a bit of soil on the surface, you might not think it's such a concern, but to replenish it or build up soil over a certain amount of time takes a lot of effort. ”Erosion is also expensive..."

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Growing risk of soil erosion for Alberta farmers as drought lingers

"..."If you have a vulnerable field, as soon as particles of soil start moving, there's a chain reaction. The next thing you know you've got the whole field moving," Coles said. "It's a very extreme example of aerial soil erosion, something we saw much more in the '30s..."

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Local farmers hosting info session on multi-species cover cropping

"...Benefits cover cropping provides include soil erosion protection, weed suppression, reduction in soil compacting, increase in soil organic matter, soil structure improvement, increase in soil water retention and enhancement of nutrient cycling..."

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Farming for the climate future

"...“Hearing their digestive processes and the splosh, splosh into a bucket and realizing we’re still doing old-world stuff. ” At Linnaea, much of what’s old is being renewed again, as farmers and global agrifood systems — which generate a third of the planet's greenhouse gas emissions — struggle to adapt to the new climate future. 'Old world' tactics can tame future climate impactsLinnaea Farm stewards Adam Schick and Tamara McPhail have been using regenerative agriculture techniques for two decades..."

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Funding available for Lower Mainland, Abbotsford farmers looking at stewardship of the land

"...The programs offered by the DFWT promote the sustainable use of agricultural land through various practices, including cover crops after the summer harvest to improve soil quality and prevent winter erosion; pollinator-friendly flowering plants and grasses in targeted areas to support biodiversity and improve important food crop pollination; perennials in annual crop rotations to improve soil health and provide habitat for wildlife; and permanent rows of bushes and plants along field borders to improve biodiversity and sequester carbon..."

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How farmers can break free of their synthetic fertilizer addiction

"...But making and applying all that synthetic fertilizer is unsustainable. The production of synthetic fertilizers alone, before farmers even sprinkle the stuff on their fields, requires copious quantities of natural gas (much of which comes from fracking, at least in the U. S..."

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Grants awarded to Shuswap farmers for projects that help protect water quality

"...Watershed council awards $53k to five environmental protection projects Rebecca WillsonApr. 14, 2023 1:30 p. m..."

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Recommended Reading

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Podcasts

Recent episodes that mention cover crops.

Farming Forward: Exploring the why of cover crops

Duration: 10:44

"...It seems that everywhere you go right now, farmers are talking about cover crops..."

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Farming Forward: Tips for terminating cover crops

Duration: 11:33

"...Cover crops can do a number of things, such as hold soil in place, cycle nutrients, suppress weed growth, and fix nitrogen..."

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RealAg Radio: SCN management, planting green, and a BIAV update, Apr 9, 2024

Duration: 54:47

"...Thanks for tuning into this Tuesdays with Lyndsey edition of RealAg Radio with host Lyndsey Smith! On this episode we will hear: Discussion about planting corn into green cover crops; Spotlight interview with Colin Tchir for ADAMA Canada; A clip from The Agronomists with Mario Tenuta and Albert Tenuta on soybean cyst nematode management; and,. ..."

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Corn School: Does planting into green cover crops work?

Duration: 13:39

"...Planting corn directly into a living cover crop before it is killed by herbicide or tillage is not something growers would have considered 30 years ago, says Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural affairs soil management specialist Jake Munroe..."

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Informative Video

Discussions, Documentaries, and Investigative Reports about cover crops.

Soils and Spuds: Unfamiliar territory with cover crops

"...Cover crops had been part of Austin Poulson's potato operation for over a decade..."

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Linking Soil Biology to Soil Health: Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton Webinar Series, Episode 2

"...When these soil organism functional groups are in balance and working together, they contribute to ecosystem resiliency that allows the ecosystem to bounce back after a disturbance like a flood or drought as well as resist the negative impacts of these disturbances..."

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Soil Health Basics: Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton Webinar Series, Episode 1

"...If a cotton producer adopts a soil health management system, they will help the cotton industry meet, and exceed, their key performance goals related to increased soil carbon and land use efficiency, and decreased greenhouse gas emissions, soil loss, water use, and energy use..."

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Academic Research

Recent peer-reviewed papers about cover crops relevant to the latest news.

Why Small-Scale Circular Agriculture Is Central to Food Security and Environmental Sustainability in Sub-Saharan Africa? The Ca

"...Employing ethnographic methods?comprising field observations, in-depth interviews, and focus group discussions?the research assesses the ecological and economic advantages of five circular agriculture systems (mixed cropping, mixed livestock-crop farming, agroforestry, crop rotation, and cover cropping) across five communities in Ghana?s Ashanti Region..."

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Climate Resilience in Agriculture

"...These sustainable agriculture practices include improvement of land preparation such as no-tilling and composting, introduction of disease-resistant and climate hardy seed varieties, crop diversification, integration of crops and livestock, soil health improvement through cover crops, management of intensive grazing, reduction in the use of off-farm inputs, development of whole-farm planning, and improvement of agriculture enterprises and marketing..."

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Promoting net-zero economy through climate-smart agriculture: transition towards sustainability

"...Land management practices, such as zero tillage, minimal tillage, crop residue decomposition, cover crops, and planting legumes, provide increased economic benefits..."

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Cover crop cultivars and species differ in root traits potentially impacting their selection for ecosystem services

"...Background and aims Cover crops have the potential to aid in adapting agricultural systems to climate change impacts through their ecosystem services, such as preventing soil erosion, remediating soil structure, and storing carbon belowground..."

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Using machine learning with case studies to identify practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions across Australian grain pro

"...Increased cropping intensity, achieved by including cover crops, additional grains crops, or crops with larger biomass in the rotation, was the leading predictor of ?GHG balance across the scenarios and sites..."

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Evaluating the impacts of sustainable land management practices on water quality in an agricultural catchment in Lower Austria

"...Managing agricultural watersheds in an environmentally friendly manner necessitate the strategic implementation of well-targeted sustainable land management (SLM) practices that limit soil and nonpoint source pollution losses and translocation..."

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Potential long-term, global effects of enhancing the domestic terrestrial carbon sink in the United States through no-till and

"...Here, we use an integrated energy-economy-land-climate model to comprehensively assess the global land, trade, and emissions impacts of an adoption of domestic no-till farming and cover cropping practices based on carbon pricing..."

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Silicon concentrations and stoichiometry in two agricultural watersheds: implications for management and downstream water quali

"...We analyzed three years of biweekly concentrations and loads of dissolved N, P, and Si from subsurface tile drains and stream water in two agricultural watersheds in northern Indiana..."

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Concepts, Principles, and Application of Biodynamic Farming: a Review

"...Different search engines were used in search of documents using keywords like biodynamic agriculture, organic farming, sustainable development, ecology, soil quality, and health..."

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Afterlife effect of cover crops on soil nematode food web: Implications from the plant ecological strategy

"...Together, the quantity and quality of plant residues jointly drive soil food web structure, and a trait-based framework facilitates the mechanical understanding of afterlife effect of plant on soil ecosystems..."

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