- Crop Production: cover crops
- Education and Training: decision support system, demonstration, extension, networking, workshop
- Pest Management: mulches - general, mulches - killed
- Production Systems: dryland farming, transitioning to organic
- Soil Management: earthworms, organic matter, soil quality/health
Mississippi producers of row crops, sweet potato and vegetable have generally been reluctant to use cover crops. Reluctance continues against substantial evidence concluding cover crops can reduce soil compaction and erosion while scavenge nutrients and improve tilth, aggregation, and general soil health. Producers often do not quantify the long-term benefits and justify input costs for something they will not sell.
CoverItUp is a 2-year train-the-trainer program designed to educate producers on species selection, benefits, establishment costs, crop termination and cash crop planting tips. This project will be accomplished through a joint effort between MSU Extension, USDA NRSC, MS Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, and producers. Key producers on strategically located farms will host on-farm demonstration plots.
Project objectives from proposal:
- Develop a plan-of-work to transfer cover crop education throughout Mississippi;
- Develop/increase cover crop knowledge of Extension agents/NRCS staff;
- Increase producer awareness and utilization of cover crops suitable for Mississippi climate.