Interested in learning more about cover crops?

Daniel H. Smith, Southwest Regional Agronomist- Nutrient and Pest Management Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The University of Wisconsin’s Nutrient and Pest Management (NPM) Program is home to numerous cover crop publications and videos detailing how to establish, terminate, utilize for forage, and manage cover crops.

NPM’s Cover Crops webpage

This webpage compiles cover crop publications from the NPM program. These publications provide information on frost seeding red clover, using winter rye for forage, interseeding cover crops, rotational herbicide restrictions, termination, and general cover crop management.

Cover Crop Webpage:

YouTube channel with agricultural videos

This popular channel has over 100 videos (with over 1.7 million views so far) detailing information on general agronomic management topics, including nutrient and pest management, cover crops, soil conservation, pest scouting, and forage management. YouTube Channel:

Cover crop resources created with stakeholders

Over the past year, collaborate efforts between multiple organizations have developed two new resources listed below. Collaborators include Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, UW-Madison Nutrient and Pest Management Program, UW-Madison Integrated Pest Management Program, Wisconsin Conservation Cropping Systems Coalition, Arlington Agricultural Research Station, University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension.

  • Cover Crops 101 Publication

This publication provides recommendations on selecting species, establishment timing, termination, and overall benefits to incorporating cover crop into a cropping system- The publication is available here (free pdf):

  • Cover Crops following Corn Silage Video Series

This series of short and to the point videos takes you into the field with several Wisconsin agricultural specialists to learn about establishing and using a rye or similar cover crop following corn silage harvest.

The 9 videos in the playlist above include:

  1. Planting Cover Crops Early by Interseeding
  2. No-till Drill Establishment of Cover Crops
  3. The Soil Health Benefits of Cover Crops Planted in a Corn Silage system
  4. Fall Cover Crop Growth, Above and Below the Surface
  5. Manure Management on Fall Cover Crop Fields
  6. Spring Growth & Soil Benefits of Cover Crops
  7. Comparing the Soil between Rye Cover and No Cover Fields
  8. Spring Termination Options and Weed Management Benefits
  9. Planting No-Till Corn into Living Rye Cover Crops, Planting Green

In addition to the resources listed above, the NPM program works with UW-Madison agricultural specialists to create resources on various nutrient and pest management topics, and is home to the Wisconsin Crop Manager newsletter. The program also maintains the farmer nutrient management curriculum which provides basic training on nutrient management for farmers interested in writing their own nutrient management plan.

For more information contact your regional NPM specialist:

The University of Wisconsin’s Nutrient and Pest Management (NPM) Program works with a wide range of partners to promote agricultural practices for protecting water quality while maintaining or improving farm profitability. The NPM Program serves Wisconsin farmers and the agricultural professionals who assist them. The program links farmers and researchers allowing for the exchange of knowledge on the profitability, practicality and environmental impact of crop production practices and cropping systems.