Conduct Research

Annual ryegrass interseeded into corn silage. Photo by Sarah Isbell.

The best way to decide what cover crops work for you is to try them out! The Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education program has created an excellent free resource titled “How to Conduct Research on Your Farm or Ranch“. Small-plot on-farm research does not have to be expensive or time-consuming, though it can be.

Start by determining whether the answers to your questions already exist – cover crop information is organized by state and by cover crop/topic on this site. Consider attendance at cover crop field days and workshops and the annual NECCC meeting, where you can meet other experienced cover crop users. Investigate the research currently being conducted in the Northeast. The cover crop pages for each state list the contact information for experts in each state, and the listserv is a great place to ask questions and get real-time answers.