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Why use cover crops in vegetable rotations?

Vegetable production involves many practices that compromise soil health, and therefore limit productivity. New York soils are less forgiving of such practices than many other regions. Therefore, leading vegetable growers want to overcome this barrier to success with practices that maintain soil health.
Some of the management goals for which farmers use cover crops include:

  • Suppressing weeds
  • Protecting soil from rain or runoff
  • Improving soil aggregate stability
  • Reducing surface crusting
  • Adding active organic matter to soil
  • Breaking hardpan
  • Fixing nitrogen
  • Scavenging soil nitrogen
  • Suppressing soil diseases and pests
For more information visit Cornell “Cover Crop Guide” web pages.
Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District
7312 RT 31 Lyons, NY 14489
315-946-7200