Cover Crops

A test plot of crimson clover at USDA NRCS Plant Material Center.

Cover Crop Groundwater Impact Study

Two proposals were received for the study. The Lower Loup NRD and Central Platte NRD both recommended EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc. of Lincoln, NE, to be awarded the bid in the amount of $320,000 to conduct a four-year study to determine the impacts on groundwater due to cover crop management.  Central Platte and Lower Loup NRDs will split the cost of the project and are seeking assistance to identify and develop grant applications to aid in funding the study. The Lower Loup Basin and Central Platte River Basin have diverse soil type and cropping practices that can affect both water quantity and water quality.  The proposal will develop and implement a study that will determine the general influence of cover crops on soil moisture, groundwater recharge, and movement of nitrate in the soil. The main geographic region for consideration is the Loup and Central Platte River Basins, more specifically, the area between the South Loup River and Wood River that has experienced groundwater declines.  The study will include both irrigated and dryland cropped fields and span multiple years.  Identification of landowners, mobilization, and installation of field equipment is scheduled this fall, with a final study report to be presented in March 2021.

Join us for the 2017 Fall Cover Crop Field Day!
See first-hand how cover crops benefit soil health.

Attendees will see five cover crop mixes planted on two different dates and will compare the above-ground biomass with that below ground.  Representatives from the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the UNL Extension will address:
*Whether compaction and infiltration are impacted.
*How biological activity and organic matter are affected.
*Which mix provides the highest quality forage for grazing.
*How much crop usable nitrogen can be expected.

(Date to be determined.) There is no cost to attend- coffee and rolls will be provided.  RSVP is not required.

Field days are a collaborative effort between the UNL Extension, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Central Platte Natural Resources District, Arrow Seed, Green Cover Seed, and O’Hanlon Seed Inc.

For more information on upcoming events, contact Dean Krull (402) 469-0155.

A root that has been pulled of purple top turnip at USDA NRCS Plant Material Center.

This is a plot of cereal rye grass at the University of Missouri Extension Bradford Research Center.

Corn is coming up a month after being planted into cover crops at the Goodwater Research Farm.