Testing the cover crop hypothesis across Prairie Canada
Lead Researcher: Yvonne Lawley, Dept. of Plant Science, University of Manitoba
Start Date: 2019
Project Length: 5 Years (2019- 2023)
Project Status: APPROVED IN PROGRESS
Objectives: To evaluate cover crops in crop rotations in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta over a four year period and provide information to producers on the potential benefits and drawbacks of including cover crops in a crop rotation.
Total project cost: $1,519,772
MWBGA funding approved: $15,000
Partner funding: $1,504,772
Funding Partners: WGRF and MPSG
Benefits to MB Producers: This project will look at both the potential and value to growing & incorporating cover crops into crop rotations in Prairie Canada. By the end of this project farmers will know:
- If cover crops grow reliably across a range of cover crop windows, and growing environments in Prairie Canada.
- If crops grown in rotation with and without cover crops consistently had the same or different yields with identical inputs.
- The potential agronomic, environmental, and economic benefits and drawbacks of including cover crops in crop rotations.
- If cover crops can increase soil microbial activity, nitrogen cycling, soil carbon or reduce nitrous oxide fluxes in the short to medium term.
- If the benefits of cover crops outweigh the cost of seed and establishment over the short and medium term.