Girl Planting seeds

Cover crops can benefit hot, dry soils

The Southern High Plains of the United States have low annual rainfall. When it does rain, though, intense storms can cause severe soil erosion. Strong winds also strip away valuable topsoil.  Enter cover crops.  Usually grown during seasons when primary crops aren't cultivated, cover crops can include legumes such as pea and hairy vetch, or grassy crops like oats and barley.  Cover crops do more than just cover fields between growing seasons. They help soils retain rainwater and reduce erosion from wind and water.  In a new study, researchers from New Mexico State University and the United States Department of Agriculture show that cover crops can increase soil health in a semi-arid region of New Mexico.  Read more....

 

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