Healthy Soils and Water

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Publications

Publication Number: P3146
Publication Number: P3660

News

January 12, 2024

Mississippi growers and those across the Midwest and mid-South still have time to take advantage of two opportunities to improve soil health and water quality while protecting profitability on their farms.

Green plants grow in rows surrounded by brown grass stems.
September 8, 2023

Despite several recognized benefits of growing winter cover crops, this conservation system has limited acceptance, something Mississippi State University researchers are trying to change by identifying and better managing risks.

Among the significant benefits of planting a green crop on farmland otherwise exposed to winter elements are improved soil health, water quality and erosion control. But cover crops grow into the optimal spring planting times for summer crops. This complicates their use and can reduce productivity of the summer crop.

For the last several years, MSU research has addressed various aspects of this issue, primarily focusing on cover crop management and cover crop species.

Success Stories

A woman and man seated in a side-by-side with a cattle field stretching behind them.
Volume 10 Number 1

Cruising into Madison County, you see a cultivated urban landscape full of brick edifices and manicured lawns spring up around you. Your cell phone announces your turnoff, and you comply, turning onto an older road that soon turns to gravel.

A man standing in a harvested field.
Volume 9 Number 2

Sledge Taylor is no stranger to cover crops —he first planted vetch on 100 acres of his Panola County farmland in 1979—but he has ramped up his cover crop usage and added other sustainable agricultural practices over the past 15 years.

A man stands in a wooden shed holding parts to a soil sensor system.
Volume 8 Number 2

Brian Andrus irrigated exactly zero times on his Sunflower County farm in 2021. He didn’t even turn on his well.

 

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