Cover Crop Management

January 2024 | 19 min., 49 sec.
by Kip Balkcom

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​Cover crops produce several potential benefits, including erosion control, soil moisture conservation, weed suppression, and soil organic carbon. However, cover crops also require investments of time and money from growers, and to maximize the return on investment, growers must address key management factors, such as planting date, seeding rate, and nitrogen applications.

About the Presenter

Kip BalkcomKip Balkcom is a research agronomist with the USDA–ARS at the National Soil Dynamics Laboratory (NSDL) in Auburn, Alabama. He graduated with a BS (1994) in agronomy and soils and an MS (1997) in soil fertility/chemistry, both from Auburn University, and a PhD (2000) in soil fertility from Iowa State University. Dr. Balkcom began his career with the USDA–ARS in 2001 at the National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Georgia, as a research agronomist, working on cropping systems with an emphasis on conservation tillage and cover crops. He transferred to the NSDL in 2003 and continued his research in conservation systems, focusing on complex interactions between crop and soil management systems across corn, cotton, peanut, and small grain production systems in the Southeast. Dr. Balkcom also serves as an adjunct faculty member and graduate faculty member of the Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences Department at Auburn University. He currently serves as the technical editor for the “Crops” section of Crops, Forage & Turfgrass Management. He is also a former section leader for the Land Management and Conservation section and community leader for the Cover Crop Management Community of the American Society of Agronomy.​

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