This publication is available in an enhanced digital version and PDF.
Cover crops are planted to increase the health and fertility of soils and to benefit the surrounding environment (SARE 2007). By covering the soil
surface, cover crops reduce soil erosion caused by rainfall events, water runoff, wind, or their combinations. The mulch like cover provided by cover crops also limits the access of light, thereby inhibiting or slowing the growth of weeds. Another benefit of cover crops is that the root system increases pore formation, which increases water infiltration and soil aeration and reduces soil compaction.
Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
February 23, 2017