Optimizing forage cover crop systems for agronomic production and environmental stewardship

PI: Veronica Justen


Justen is a professor of crop science at UW–River Falls. Her interests include plant breeding, field crop production, and enhancing diversified crop rotations with cover crops and hardy winter small grains.

This project will evaluate the interactive effects of cover crop species, environmental factors and agronomic management on the productivity of forage cover crop rotations in Northern climates using field and controlled environment experiments. This study aims to provide a better understanding of how management decisions such as cutting date and termination method combined with environmental factors such as temperature and moisture stress influence not only the productivity of various cover crop species, but also the productivity and quality of the following corn crop. Data collected from this study will provide insights about how these combined factors influence nutrient availability and soil health. This information will be valuable for dairy farmers to determine best management practices that simultaneously maximize cover crop benefits for both environmental stewardship and agronomic production.