Cover Crops for Sustainable Southern Agroecosystems (S-1085)

Farmer evaluating cover crops grown at the UF/IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center in Jay, FL
(PC: K. Sattanno)


Multistate HATCH project S-1085 guides the research efforts of the Southern Cover Crops Council based on six priorities identified by stakeholders:

  1. Establishment, termination and management of residues

  2. Varieties and mixtures of cover crops

  3. Nutrient and fertility management

  4. Cover crops for weed control

  5. Economics of cover crop use

  6. Soil biology


  1. Identify a common set of biological, chemical, physical, and economic measures and indicators that can be applied across crop and cover crop combinations throughout the region to generate a region-wide database.

  2. Select and evaluate summer and winter cover crop germplasm for regional adaptability and determine the appropriate timing of planting, utilization of cover crop goods (includes grazing), and termination to optimize benefits without adversely affecting cash crop cycles.

  3. Assess the influence of cover crops on soil moisture, nutrient cycling, and soil microbiology.

  4. Characterize cover crop efficacy for enhancing cropping system resilience to weeds, pests, and plant pathogens.

This work is supported by HATCH project no. FLA-HOS-006004, Multistate no. S-1085, from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.