383-2 Expanding the Role of Cover Cropping Systems While Enhancing Agricultural Benefits for Wildlife and Natural Resources.
Natural resource issues are seldom a major focus of agricultural producers but should be. The importance of maintaining our natural ecosystems has direct and indirect benefits across all levels of society ranging from water conservation to pollinator habitat. Fortunately, the implementation of cover crops systems may be the “silver bullet” for addressing these long range issues like loss of habitat for some of our ground nesting birds, Northern bobwhite quail in particular.
The University of Missouri Agricultural Experiment Stations has been looking at several of these issues and how cover crops systems can promote our natural resources. One of the first questions that we have addressed is whether the cover crop system provides suitable nesting habitat or do they act as a trap for ground nesting birds. Other studies look at using different mixtures of cover crop species to provide habitat for pollinators and ground nesting birds. This presentation will provide insight on how we can best promote our natural resources while complementing our agricultural objectives of cover crop systems.