A Practical Guide to
NO-TILL AND COVER CROPS
in the Mid-Atlantic
Conservation isn’t easy.
Access to clear unbiased education materials will simplify the transition to sustainable agriculture, reduce uncertainty, and increase the likelihood of success.
No-till and cover crops are among the most cost effective tools to reverse soil and carbon loss and improve soil health; the economic, agronomic and environmental benefits of these practices are well known within the farming community.
Transitioning from conventional farming to no-till, and incorporating the use of cover crops, requires a higher level of management and demands a substantial investment in time to learn the information necessary to succeed. Farmers face hurdles including field soil preparation, equipment purchasing decisions, and management of other impacts on agronomic practices. For many farmers, lack of knowledge is a barrier to implementation.
This manual is designed to help agricultural service providers and farmers as they strive to implement new practices. It is designed for individuals already convinced of the merits of no-till and cover crops, but unsure how to implement these practices.
This manual contains...
precise instructions and equipment configuration recommendations. Although this information is usually best sourced from a knowledgeable crop consultant or peer, this manual furnishes the reader with a strong foundation from which to begin.
This information was sourced from a combination of research results, crop consultant recommendations, and most importantly, farmers’ insights.
This manual does not contain...
research summaries, detailed cover crop species comparisons, nor any soil health or soil science data showing the benefits of these practices.
The recommendations are not based on federal or state regulations. Those wishing to obtain financial support towards practices from those agencies will need to follow any agency specific practice requirements.