Rural Dictionary: Cover Crops
Farmers have many ways of improving soil fertility, sustainability, and preventing soil erosion. One way farmers do this is by planting cover crops, which are typically planted after a crop like corn or soybeans is harvested. According to SDSU Extension, cover crops are generally defined as crops planted between cash crops to cover and protect the soil.
Paul Hetland from Mount Vernon, South Dakota, is one farmer who plants a mix of cover crops, including radishes, turnips, oats, barley, field peas and flax, before growing corn. The cover crops are important parts of his soil health plan, providing a number of benefits such as reducing erosion during winter, improving water absorption and conserving nitrogen. Learn more in this articleand watch a video.