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Pacific Northwest Cover Crop Selection Tool

This Cover Crop Selection Tool for Idaho, Oregon, and Washington is intended as a guide to help growers and conservation planners select cover crop species adapted to their climate, soils, and the purposes of the cover crop.

When implementing the NRCS Cover Crop Practice 340, be  sure to check your state's Practice Standard to ensure that you meet the criteria for the purposes selected. Cover crops  included in this tool are generally adapted to environments in the Western United States, but have not been evaluated in all possible situations.  The performance of these cover crops can be highly variable, and is dependent on planting date,  precipitation of irrigation, soil conditions, and other environmental factors. Cultivars or varieties may have different growth patterns or tolerances than the species in general. Consult with your local NRCS office, University Extension, and local farmers  to find out what works best in your area and how to use the cover crops effectively. Also, experiment with cover crops on small areas of your farm before implementing the practice on a large scale.

Seeds per pound values listed in the "Seeding Information Report" in this tool are an average from available published values, but may vary widely for some species (particularly fava, grazing corn, sunflower, and sunn hemp). We recommend verifying the actual seeds per pound of the lot you intend to purchase and adjusting the seeding rate accordingly.

It is the producers' responsibility to follow all state and federal laws.

If you find any information in this tool to be incomplete or inaccurate, please send edits to Annie Young-Mathews (anna.young-mathews@or.usda.gov), Allen Casey (allen.casey@wa.usda.gov), or Derek Tilley (derek.tilley@id.usda.gov).

  • Pacific Northwest Cover Crop Selection Tool, Ver. 7.3, February, 2016 (ZIP; 7 MB) - This zipped file contains a Microsoft Access database and Microsoft Word file, Cover Crop Selection Tool Instructions.  SAVE THE ZIP FILE to your hard drive. Do not open the Zip file in your Web browser.  You must have MS Access and MS Word on your personal computer in order to utilize these files.