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New book details cover crop use

Across America, tens of thousands of farmers are planting cover crops, a time-tested method of revitalizing soil, curbing erosion, and managing pests.

Bryan and Donna Davis love what cover crops have done for their corn/soybean rotation. The Grinnell, Iowa couple relies on rye and oats to feed their soil and manage pests on their 1,000-acre, mostly no-till farm.

"We have cut our chemical costs cut dramatically, and have reduced fertility costs in some fields by half," says Bryan. "With energy costs these days, you can't afford not to do this."

Recently revised and updated, the third edition of Managing Cover Crops Profitably includes a new chapter on brassicas and mustards, 16 farm profiles, and a comprehensive chapter on the use of cover crops in conservation tillage systems.

Updates throughout are based on more than 100 new literature citations and consultations with cover crop researchers and practitioners around the country. Appendices include seed sources and a listing of cover crop experts.

"This is the best book I have ever read," says Wolfgang Rougle, of Twining Tree Farm in Cottonwood, Calif. "It uses science to explain complex concepts, lays out options for different systems and climates, and allows innovative farmers to digest the information and make their own intelligent decisions. Thank you for the practical advice, acknowledgement of complex tradeoffs, specifics, details and conclusions."

Download Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition online at To order print copies ($19 plus $5.95 shipping and handling) visit, call 301-374-9696 or send check or money order to Sustainable Agriculture Publications, PO Box 753, Waldorf, Maryland 20604-0753. (Please specify title requested when ordering by mail.)

Discounts are available on orders of 10 or more. Allow 3-4 weeks for delivery. Call 301-374-9696 for more information on bulk, rush or international shipments.

Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition was published by SARE Outreach for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. SARE is funded by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), USDA, and works with producers, researchers and educators to promote farming systems that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities.

SARE Outreach operates under a cooperative agreement between CSREES, the University of Vermont and the University of Maryland to develop and disseminate information about sustainable agriculture. For more information about SARE grant opportunities and other SARE resources, visit