PMC Studies Inform Updated Midwest Cover Crop Council Decision Tool
The Elsberry Plant Materials Center contributes to updating the Midwest Cover Crop Council decision tool.
The Midwest Cover Crop Council (MCCC) facilitates the sharing of cover crop knowledge within the Midwest and beyond. The MCCC is organized within 13 states and provinces, and is a multidimensional partnership comprised of individuals representing universities, extension, government agencies, farmers, nonprofit partners, agri-business, and other organizations. Individuals within the MCCC prioritize policy, networking, research, education and fundraising to fulfill the overall goal of increasing adoption of year-round living cover in the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins.
In 2022, the Elsberry, Missouri Plant Materials Center (PMC) was tasked with assisting the MCCC to revise the existing Cover Crop Decision Tool. This tool is a web-based system used to assist farmers in selecting cover crops for their field and vegetable crop rotations. Cover crop information is consolidated by state to help producers make selections at the county level. Information in the tool was originally designed around the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education publication Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition.
The MCCC Cover Crop Decision Tool was updated to reflect new findings on cover crop research, as well as match enhanced web technology, become mobile friendly and increased accessibility. New cover crop information was added to the tool via scientific literature as well as experts with hands-on field experience. Elsberry PMC staff provided input on new cover crop information gained from their cover crop adaptation trial, planting date, seeding rate, and weed management studies conducted in Elsberry, MO within the last six years. For each state, the tool now reflects cover crop species most used in each county, as well as other plant attributes such as establishment period, seeding rate and planting depth.
Technical information and guidance on the use of conservation plants to address resource concerns can be found on the Plant Materials Program website or contact the nearest Plant Materials Center or plant materials specialist.