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Orchard management using cover crops to improve soil health and pollinator habitat in the Midwestern United StatesAuthor(s): J.W. Van Sambeek
Source: The Nutshell. 71(3): 32-45.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
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DescriptionNational initiatives have emergedthat could benefit future establishment and management of nut production orchards. The 2008 and 2014 Farm Bills put forward agendas to address declining soil health on agricultural soils by promoting the use of cover crops to improve soil health during the fallow period in rotation with agronomic crops. Corn, wheat, and soybean yields have been increased by 2 to 4 percent when grown in rotation with cover crops (SARE 2017). The USDA reported over 10 million acres were planted with cover crops in 2012 and has increased to over 20 million acres by 2017. Cover crops could play an even bigger role in managing soil health in orchards because we can include perennial ground covers and because annual cover crops, if not invasive, do not need to be terminated to establish another crop and can grow to maturity.
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CitationVan Sambeek, J.W. 2017. Orchard management using cover crops to improve soil health and pollinator habitat in the Midwestern United States. The Nutshell. 71(3): 32-45.
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