Winter Cover Crop Experiment

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2003: $1,120.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2004
Region: Western
State: Utah
Principal Investigator:


  • Agronomic: rye


  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture
  • Soil Management: green manures, organic matter, soil analysis, nutrient mineralization, soil quality/health

    Proposal summary:

    For organic producers, growing cover crops over the winter has become an important way to supply nitrogen, inhibit weed growth, break up soil and stem erosion. Aviva Maller, who raises more than 100 varieties of organic vegetables and flowers on an acre of land in Springdale, Utah, plans to use her Western SARE organic grant to experiment with drought-tolerant cover crops to see which work best for his southern Utah climate. Dividing her field into four sections, she will plant crimson clover, Austrian winter peas and a mixture of hairy vetch and winter rye in each section with three replications of each. Finding a good cover crop would not only help her exercise good land stewardship, the added fertility may help reduce the amount of compost applied, reducing farming costs.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.