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.

Back to: Livestock and the arable rotation

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.

A review of the benefits, optimal crop management practices and knowledge gaps associated with different cover crop species

The research

Our cover crops research project quantified the effects of cover crops, as straights and mixtures, and assessed 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

Cover crops (blog) AHDB

Cover crops (blog)

Learning from farmer experiences

Green manures

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