Testing the cover crop hypothesis across Prairie Canada

Testing the cover crop hypothesis across Prairie Canada

Researchers: Yvonne Lawley
Keywords: Farm Management
Start Date: 2019
Status: In Progress

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.