1st Edition

Cover Crops and Sustainable Agriculture

Edited By Rafiq Islam, Bradford Sherman Copyright 2021
    326 Pages 9 Color & 69 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    326 Pages 9 Color & 69 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    326 Pages 9 Color & 69 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    This book will not serve as the "encyclopedia of cover crop management," but it’s close. The benefits of a wide range of individual cover crops and blends/mixes for specific agronomic crop rotations and geographic locations are included. Descriptions, photographs, and illustrations show how cover crops look in the field, including plant height, leaf architecture, and rooting patterns. Long term benefits are described for soil health, soil structure, water quality, nutrient contributions, soil biodiversity, air quality and climate change.

    In addition to the "whys" of cover crop use, the book includes details on the "hows:" how to choose cover crops for specific applications and locations; how (and when) to plant; how to manage and maintain the cover for maximum benefit; and how and when to terminate.

    Planting options include: drilling/planting between rows of an agronomic crop at planting time, or when the crop is short (i.e. corn in early June); "aerial" seeding with an airplane or high-clearance machine shortly before the crop reaches maturity; and drilling/planting immediately after harvest of the agronomic crop. Selected cover crops (blends) can help with pest and disease management.

    Cover crops are an economic input with an expected return on investment, similar to pesticides and fertilizer. As part of a continuous no-till system, cover crops provide long-term biological, chemical and structural benefits. The resulting increase in soil organic matter means the agronomic crop yields benefit from better water infiltration and water holding capacity, greater availability of nitrogen and other nutrients, deeper rooting, and increased soil microbial activity in the root zone.

    Introduction to Cover Crops

    Rafiq Islam, Nataliia Didenko, and Bradford Sherman

    Benefits of Cover Crops on Agronomic Crop Yield

    Kateryna Chorna

    Potential and Challenges of Growing Cover Crops in Organic Production Systems

    Sutie Xu, Sindhu Jagadamma, Renata Nave Oakes, Song Cui, Erin Byers, and Zhou Li

    Cover Crops in Vegetable Production and Urban Farming in Sub-Saharan Countries

    Michael Kwabena Osei, Mavis Akom, Joseph Adjebeng-Danquah, Kenneth Fafa Egbadzor, Samuel Oppong Abebrese, Kwabena Asare Bediako and Richard Agyare

    Algorithms to optimize cropping diversity with cover crops

    Romashchenko M., Matiash T. , Bohaienko V., Kovalchuk V., and Lukashuk V.

    Sustainable suppression of weeds through ecological use of cover crops

    Shawn T. Lucas

    Cover crops for pests and soil-borne disease control and insect diversity

    Nataliia Didenko, Vira Konovalova, Somayyeh Razzaghi, Alimata Bandaogo, Sougata Bardhan, and Alan Sundermeier

    Cover Crops for Forages and Livestock Grazing

    Riti Chatterjee

    Cover crops’ effect on soil quality and soil health

    M. A. Rahman

    Cover Crops for Orchard Soil Management

    Biswajit Das, B.K. Kandpal and H. Lembisana Devi

    Cover Crop Mixes for Diversity, Carbon, and Conservation Agriculture

    Reicosky, D.C., Ademir Calegari, Danilo Rheinheimer dos Santos, and Tales Tiecher

    Cover crops and soil nitrogen cycling

    Nitu, T.T., U.M. Milu, and M.M.R. Jahangir

    Effect of Cover Crops on Soil Biology

    Harit K. Bal

    Cover cropping improves soil quality and physical properties

    Yillmaz Bayhan

    Cover Crops Effects on Soil Erosion and Water Quality

    Beenish Saba and Ann D. Christy

    Effects of cover crops on greenhouse gas emissions

    Somayyeh Razzaghi

    Cover crops influence soil microbial and biochemical properties

    Amoakwah, E.

    Economics of Cover Crops

    Mohammad S. Rahman and James J. Hoorman


    Rafiq Islam is the Director of the Soil, Water, and Bioenergy Resources Program at The Ohio State University South Centers, Ohio, USA. He has over 30 years of academic and research experience on soil and water quality, cover crops, conservation tillage, marginal land, and biofeedstock production. Dr. Islam is a Fulbright teaching scholar and has published over100 journal articles; written several factsheets, manuals, and book chapters; and edited two books.

    Bradford Sherman is a publications editor with The Ohio State University, where his responsibilities include writing, editing, and the design of various publications within the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). With over 14 years of writing and editing experience; he handles the distribution of a CFAES newsletter; has edited books, journal articles, and Extension education materials for national and international audiences.