Cover crops

A cover crop is a non-cash crop grown primarily for the purpose of ‘protecting or improving’ between periods of regular crop production. This publication details the opportunities for cover crops in conventional arable rotations. Scroll down for further resources.

The publication

With a focus on several cover crop species – brassicas (mustards, radishes and turnips), legumes (vetch and clovers), and grasses and cereals (oats, rye and ryegrass) – our cover crops publication describes agronomic and environmental benefits, as well as agronomic considerations.

The review

Our nine-month review, by ADAS and NIAB TAG, provides the most comprehensive analysis of cover crops to date and acts as a practical reference source to aid with cover crop species selection and management.

The research

Our current cover crops research project will quantify the longer-term effects of cover crops, as straights and mixtures, and assess the impact of cultivation, establishment and destruction techniques.

The experiences

These publications feature farmers talking about their experiences using cover crops. They have grown cover crops for a variety of reasons, such as improving soil structure, nutrient capture and overall sustainability improvements. By sharing farmers’ experiences, we want to help you select the best cover crop, or species mix, for your farm.

  1. Peter Cartwright – Cover crops for improved soil health
  2. Richard Reed – Cover crops for improved soil health
  3. David Blacker – Cover crops for improved soil structure
  4. Phil Jarvis – Cover crops, drainage and targeted cultivaton for improved soil structure
  5. Tom Bradshaw – Cover crops for nutrient capture and improved soil structure
  6. Russ McKenzie – Cover crops in a no-tillage system
  7. Jake Freestone – Cover crops in a no-tillage system

Green manures

AHDB Horticulture has produced a range of publications looking at green manures

A clearer course for cover crops

Robust data as well as key lessons have emerged from AHDB’s Maxi-Cover project. CPM seeks guidance and essentials lessons from those involved in the research.

A clearer course for cover crops (CPM article, June 2019)