Arid Environment

Cover crops play an important role in resilient agriculture

While cover crops benefits are proven, Texas A&M AgriLife scientists are finding one size does not fit all relating to their use in the semi-arid regions of the state. What works in the dry, sandy South Plains may not be applicable in the northern High Plains or Rolling Plains.

Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service soil scientists and agronomists are working together to learn more about how to better manage cover crops in water-limited environments.

Cover crops are grown for a specific duration in the offseason, then terminated and left in the field to decompose, cycling nutrients in the soil. They protect the soil surface and provide residues to potentially improve soil structure, reduce compaction and increase soil organic matter. This helps reduce soil erosion, increase water infiltration and improve soil’s water-holding capacity.

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