Cover Crops

Cover crop mix
Photo credit: Randall Reeder

Cover Crops can help farmers address a number of issues in fields including reduced soil erosion, nutrient scavenging and nitrogen fixation. Different species provide different benefits. Producers should identify what the goal is they want cover crops to acheive. This will help narrow down the species decision and allow for measurement of success in the future.


General Resources

The Midwest Cover Crop Council has extensive resources on cover crop management from deciding which covers to use to planting and termination. The selector tool assists in deciding which cover to select based on planting time and management goals. Access the tool at

Cover Crop Fundamentals Fact Sheet

Cover Crops for Sustainable Crop Rotations SARE Publication

Cover Crop Economics SARE Publication

Managing Cover Crops Profitably SARE Publication

USDA NRCS Plant Materials Program

OSU Soil Health Website


Conservation TIllage and Tecnology Conference Presentations

2020 Cover Crops, No-till and Soil Health

2020 Spring Management

2019 Issues and Benefits

2019 Cover Crops, No-till and Soil Health

Radish as cover crop in November

Species Decision Tools

USDA Cover Crop Chart

Midwest Cover Crop Council Selector Tool

Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide ($5)


Management Issues

Controlling Vole Damage in No-Till Corn and Soybeans

Radish interseeded in corn

Farmer interview podcasts on using and managing cover crops:

Linda Vernon and Tim Lyden join us to share why they are so passionate about cover crops. Tim discusses his history in using cover, the challenges he’s faced as well has the benefits seen on his farm.

Listen on: iTunes Stitcher

Jack Sommers and Tim McDaniel, farmers in Champaign County, talk about how they got started using cover crops and what it means for their operation today. We talk about equipment, species used and benefits, including the economics of it.

Listen on: iTunes Stitcher


Planting Green at Farm Science Review



C.O.R.N. Newsletter Articles

  1. Author(s): Sarah Noggle , Author(s): Glen Arnold, CCA

    Due to a late harvest and adverse weather conditions, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is extending the 2021 H2Ohio Program deadline for planting overwintering cover crops, including those following small grains, and manure incorporation. With the recent expansion, all 24 counties in the Western Lake Erie Basin are now included in the H2Ohio Program.

    Issue: 2021-36
  2. Cover Crop
    Author(s): Alyssa Essman , Author(s): Mark Loux

    Cooler temperatures and maturing crops indicate the start of harvest season.  For those growers using cover crops to protect soil and suppress weeds over the winter, it also means the time to establish fall-planted cover crops is imminent.

    Issue: 2021-33
  3. Cover crop mix in field.
    Author(s): Mary Griffith

    OSU Extension will host two educational field days focused on soil health and cover crops next week. Extension specialists and farmers experienced with cover crops will present on topics including inter-seeding cover crops into a growing crop, terminating cover crops, cover crop variety selection, and more. Field demonstrations, cover crop plots, and equipment demonstrations will be on-site.

    Each field day is free to attend. Registration is appreciated. Register at

    Issue: 2021-26
  4. field of cereal rye cover crop

    Cover crops are used for a variety of reasons in a crop rotation. Adding cover crops can improve soil structure, retain nutrients, suppress weeds, reduce water and wind erosion, increase soil organic matter and provide forage. The presence of a cover crop can also influence the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus  and sediment in surface and subsurface water leaving at the edge of field. A summary of cover crops water quality impacts from Ohio field comparisons was recently published.

    Issue: 2021-24
  5. Ohio State measuring stick in ground of cover crop field
    Author(s): Mary Griffith

    The next three sessions of CORN Live webinars will focus on managing cover crop systems. Sessions will be on Thursday mornings from 8:00-9:00am with 1 hour of nutrient management CCA CEUs offered for attending each session. Topics include:

    Issue: 2021-23


  1. 04/2017

    Ohio Agronomy Guide 15th Edition, Bulletin 472. The newly revised Ohio Agronomy Guide serves as the official compilation of adaptive results and recommendations from research and educational programs. Described in this manual is information on Ohio's climate and soil, soil and water management, soil fertility, and corn, small grain, and forage crop production and management. Also, seed evaluation and weed control for the previously listed crops are discussed.

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