Project Details


The use of biodiversity to enhance farm performance is deeply rooted in organic farming philosophy, reflected in the organic rule, and consistent with contemporary ecological theory. Recently, farmers have demonstrated interest in using diverse cover crop mixtures, or cocktails, to increase biodiversity in their cropping systems. However, there is a lack of applied research and outreach to support farmer efforts to employ diverse cover crop mixtures, especially in organic feed and forage systems. To fill this gap, our long-term goal is to quantify and translate the benefits and trade-offs of using diverse cover crop mixtures in organic feed rotations. Our multidisciplinary research, extension, and farmer team will integrate experiments on one research station and three organic farms with a suite of innovative outreach activities. At the research station we will embed a range of cover crop treatments within a common feed and forage rotation to test the effects of cover crop diversity on eight agronomic, economic, and environmental functions. On-farm participatory research will enable us to determine the performance of diverse cover crop mixtures within realistic management constraints. Outreach will include evaluated activities to promote co-learning with two organic producer networks and creation and evaluation of other programs and materials delivered to a broad audience (including and

Effective start/end date9/1/118/31/16


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $2,296,803.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.