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Use of Short Season Variety Corn and Soybeans to Facilitate the Adoption of Multi-species Cover Crop

New Jersey NRCS administers Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies.

North Jersey RC&D is excited to announce we were awarded $74,995 to examine the agronomic, economic, and soil health implications of short season corn and soy varieties.

North Jersey RC&D proposes a multiple location soil health demonstration planting short season corn and soybeans to facilitate adoption of planting multi-species cover crop. Planting traditional varieties of corn and soybeans does not allow producers to plant multi-species cover crop early enough to establish well and gain maximum soil health benefits of cover crops. By planting a short season variety, which can be harvested earlier, a multi-species cover crop is expected to be able to be planted early enough to be successful. This strategy will maximize soil health, biodiversity, soil cover, and living roots in the cropping system.

Using a paired study design, a short season crop will be planted next to the producer’s traditional crop. The study will be three years and have a crop rotation of corn and soy. This project will assess the agronomic potential and associated economic implications of harvesting early season corn and soy varieties by early September, in time to establish a multi-species winter cover crop. NJRCD will conduct farm assessments to determine success of cover crop along with farmer interviews to determine the economic and social impacts. NJRCD will document the success of the trial through fact sheets and workshops.


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