The Northeast Cover Crops Council (NECCC) recently released an online tool designed to support farm decision-making around cover crops.
It includes a Cover Crop Explorer that provides in-depth information on more than 35 cover crop species. It also has a Species Selector that assists users in selecting individual cover crops based on plant hardiness zones, field soil and growing conditions, and cover cropping goals.
“Decision support tools are excellent ways to integrate the complexity of climate, soil and management into user-friendly systems,” said Dr. Steven Mirsky, research ecologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and NECCC chair. “Thanks to the hard work of Council members and farmers who tested the tool, the NECCC Selector Tool is an easy-to-use, site specific resource that farmers and agricultural service providers throughout our region can use to support their cover crop decision-making.”
More than 35 specialists from around the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic contributed their expertise to develop the tool. The project was spearheaded by the Northeast Cover Crops Council, a group of farmers, researchers, Extension educators and personnel from nonprofits and industry that encourages the adoption of cover crops by fostering the exchange of information, inspiration and outcome-based research.
The Council was formed with support from a Northeast SARE Professional Development Program grant. With this and other USDA funding, the project team collaborated with USDA’s ARS and Natural Resources Conservation Service, Agricultural Informatics Lab and Precision Sustainable Agriculture to design the tool.
More information about NECCC and the Cover Crop Decision Support Tool can be found on the NECCC website at: www.northeastcovercrops.com.
Want more information? See the related SARE grant:
- The Northeast Cover Crops Council: Building the network and online decision support tools (ENE16-144)