Increasing the Sustainability of Oklahoma Cropping Systems Using Cover Crops

Project Overview

Project Type: On-Farm Research
Funds awarded in 2008: $15,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Southern
State: Oklahoma
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Chad Godsey
Oklahoma State University

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: wheat


  • Crop Production: cover crops, double cropping, no-till

    Proposal abstract:

    Producers in western Oklahoma have identified two main areas that they feel need to be addressed to increase the sustainability of their cropping systems: 1) lack of crop diversity and 2) reduction of N fertilizer/increase in nitrogen use efficiency. Continuous monocultures are the predominant cropping systems in this region. This lack of diversity increases pest pressures and increases needs for chemical inputs, especially nitrogen fertilizer and herbicides. Dependence on inorganic inputs threatens long-term sustainability. Growers in this region also rely heavily on conventional tillage practices which do not encourage the build-up of organic matter. The purpose of this project is to gain a deeper understanding of the benefits of cover cropping systems in the southern Plains and to educate growers on the associated cost/benefits of cover cropping.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The objectives of this on-farm study will be to 1) determine the effect of cover crops on grain yield of the subsequent wheat crop, 2) determine the economic feasibility of including cover crops in current cropping systems in western Oklahoma, 3) determine nitrogen contribution using the Green SeekerTM Optical Sensor, and 4) evaluate the use of soil moisture during the growing season when cover crops are included in rotations.

    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.