Nutrient Management Guidelines and Cover Crop Practices for Soil Health

Project Overview

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2014: $18,946.00
Funds awarded in 2015: $18,946.00
Funds awarded in 2016: $18,920.00
Projected End Date: 10/31/2017
Grant Recipient: University of Massachusetts
Region: Northeast
State: Massachusetts
State Coordinator:
Katie Campbell-Nelson
Cornell Cooperative Extension, Columbia and Greene Counties


Not commodity specific


  • Crop Production: cover crops, nutrient management

    Proposal abstract:

    Preserving and improving soil health/quality/resiliency continues to be an area of strong interest and concern for MA land stewards. Not unique to MA, this concern has been echoed across the region and nationally leading NRCS to emphasize soil health awareness as a continued priority with a special emphasis on cover cropping. 

    This project works toward skill and knowledge development among service providers for an increased ability to work with farmers on specific issues for improved soil health, quality or resiliency.  Particular attention will be paid to 1) nutrient management practices to mitigate against leaching or run-off/erosion; and 2) cover cropping strategies for improving soil health (e.g., increased organic matter content, improved drainage, increased resiliency to extreme weather events, disease suppression). 

    The goal is to equip service providers with a set of soil health assessment tools (multiple tools rather than a comprehensive all-in-one kit) and the knowledge for how to choose the appropriate tool, use it correctly and help farmers interpret the resulting information to make a sensible decision about implementing a recommended practice.

    Performance targets from proposal:

    15 agricultural service providers who gain practical knowledge and skills in practices consistent with nutrient management Best Management Guidelines and Cover Cropping options/benefits/practices will design and deliver educational programs and services, including but not limited to workshops, webinars, presentations, fact sheets/ other educational materials, and individual consultations to 100 growers/producers who manage a total of 3,000 acres of land.

    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.