Cover crops have numerous documented benefits including reducing soil erosion, increasing soil organic matter, inhibition of pests and altering nutrient availability. The popularity of using several cover crop species in a mix is increasing, thus this project was established to compare cover crop multi-species mixes to single species or simple mixtures in terms of various functions. The objectives of this project include;

  1. To compare cover crop multi-species mixtures to single species or simple mixtures for biomass growth
  2. To determine the nitrogen credit of selected cover crop mixtures to the following corn crop
  3. To measure the impact of cover crops on phosphorus loss
    1. Determine the impact of variable freeze-thaw magnitude on dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) export
    2. Find candidate cover crop species which best resist the impact of freeze-thaw cycles (FTC)
    3. Determine the effect of early termination of cover crops (via glyphosate application) has on DRP export compared to leaving plants green
  4. To study the impact of cover crops on insects, slugs and soybean cyst nematode (SCN)
  5. To promote the use of cover crops and provide information on how to grow cover crops successfully
Read the entire report here: Advancing Cover Crop Systems in Ontario