For this review we evaluated a number of articles regarding cover crops. The literature suggested significant benefits of the cover crops. We found the impact of cover crops compared to a fallow period was largely dependent on the tillage practices used as well as the timing of cover crop termination.
Cover crop water use, and soil water availability following cover crop termination was a significant factor in determining cash crop yield. Furthermore, the economic benefits of cover crops on weed suppression and long term soil-water function serve to complicate the trade-off between the short-term cash crop yield reduction due to reduced soil water availability following cover crops.
There is a need for further research tailored to the climatic and cropping conditions of the Southern Great Plains.
Publication: Ghimire, R., B. Ghimire, A.O. Mesbah, M. O’Neill, J. Idowu, S. Angadi, and M.K. Shukla (2018). Current status, opportunities, and challenges of cover cropping for sustainable dryland farming in the Southern Great Plains. Journal of Crop Improvement.