Cover cropping can positively impact several aspects of a healthy agricultural system, including reducing soil erosion, improving water quality, facilitating weed management, and providing habitat for beneficials and pollinators. However, in the upper Midwest, with its short growing season and unpredictable weather, intensifying cover crops across the rotation can be challenging. In this session, we will discuss some of the strategies we’ve researched at UW-Madison and how farmers have integrated these practices into their rotations, including interseeding into corn and cereal grains, managing cover crops as weed suppressive mulches, and utilizing intensive cover crop fallow/grazing phases as weed management tools.
Léa is a research specialist in organic and sustainable agriculture at UW-Madison where she manages field operations at the Arlington Agricultural Research Station for the Silva lab. She obtained her M.S. in agronomy and agroecology in 2016 and her research focuses on tillage reduction in organic row crop production in the Midwest. Léa is generally interested in sustainable crop production and works to maintain close relationships with farmers to help motivate and inform her research.