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Protecting and Improving Soil

Perhaps the most rapidly evolving area of crop management in the U.S. is the significant increase in cover crops use on fields of all types. Cover crops are plants used to protect and improve the soil at times when cash crops (grains, vegetables, cotton, oilseeds, etc.) are not being grown. Ideally, cover crops can allow the soil to be covered for most or all of the year, providing the living roots that soil microbes need in making healthy soils. The cover crops are like a Swiss Army knife in providing a wide range of tools to address various goals with fields and farming. Besides improved soil health, they help with reducing soil erosion, sequestering soil carbon, improving weed control, managing nutrients, and increasing water quality. 

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