“If farmers have a good year growing cover crops, they can get really excited and plant more acres. But if they have a bad year, they might never use cover crops again,” said Alison Robertson, professor of plant pathology and microbiology and a lead investigator of cover crop projects funded by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center.
More landowners are interested in planting strips of deep-rooted prairie within crop fields or on marginal land as an effective soil conservation and water quality practice. But they need reliable answers about the costs and benefits. Practical answers are coming out of projects led by University of Northern Iowa researchers, funded by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University.