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Online tool helps farmers select cover crops


April 5, 2011
By Michigan State University

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covercropcloverNEWS HIGHLIGHT

Online tool helps farmers select cover crops

Have you ever thought of having a cover crop on your field, but
didn’t have the tools to figure out which crop would work best for your needs?

April 1, 2011, East
Lansing, MI – Have you ever thought of having a cover crop on your field, but
didn’t have the tools to figure out which crop would work best for your needs?

Michigan State
University (MSU) Extension
and the Midwest Cover Crops Council (MCCC) teamed up
to release an online tool that assists farmers in deciding what cover crops
will benefit their row crop rotation.

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“The MCCC hopes the
cover crop selector tool will encourage the use of cover crops by providing the
information and decision-making help necessary for farmers to successfully use
cover crops in their cropping systems,” says Dean Baas, of the MSU Extension/W.
K. Kellogg Biological Station Land and Water Unit
.

covercropclover 
  

The MCCC Cover Crop Decision
Tool
is an initiative by the MCCC to consolidate cover crop information by
state or province to help farmers make cover crop selections at the county
level. A team of cover crop experts including university researchers, Extension
educators, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) personnel, state
departments of agriculture department personnel, crop advisors, seed suppliers
and farmers develop information for each state or province.

A user selects his or
her state or province and county. Users can also give information on their cash
crops including planting and harvest dates, field information such as the soil
drainage class, artificial drainage or flooding, and desired cover crop
benefits.

Designed to be user
friendly, it has a dynamic interface that allows users to immediately see how
their input changes their cover crop options. A user can generate an
information sheet for a selected cover crop that provides additional
information and references relevant to application within the state or province.

The current version of
the tool has been completed for Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, while other states
and provinces are presently developing their information. When completed,
Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ontario will be added to the
web-based system.

Find the tool at http://mccc.msu.edu/SelectorTool/2011CCSelectorTool.pdf.


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