by Jeremy Sweeten
Cover crops are known for producing and releasing nitrogen when terminated.
Below is a link to an article on research done in southern Illinois comparing the quantity and release timing of hairy vetch (a nitrogen producer) and cereal rye (a nitrogen scavenger). As a cover crop seed purchaser, it is important to know how to maximize the benefit of cover crops for the row crops.
Nitrogen is one the most expensive inputs for corn. If you are not doing so, consider letting cover crops provide some of the nitrogen for you.
Click here to read the full article.
One other very significant benefit you get from your cover crop is that of soil structure. In the video below, Abbey Wick from NDSU Extension Service demonstrates the benefit of cover crops (and their residue) on handling traffic in your field. The difference between cover crop soils and non-cover crop soils is astounding.