By Dean Baas
Interest in cover crops and the demand for information has been steadily increasing as farmers recognize their benefits to soil health, erosion, water quality and availability, and pest management. Farmers and agri-businesses are looking for resources to assist them in selecting and managing cover crops. The Midwest Cover Crops Council has introduced a new website design, making it easier for users to find resources and access the site on mobile technology.
The Midwest Cover Crops Council website contains publications from Michigan State University Extension and other universities, as well as links, media and resources providing information on how to select, plant and maintain cover crops. The goal of the updated site is to organize resources more consistently and enhance search capabilities to help users find information quickly. Additionally, the new website is mobile responsive, meaning it will switch to a mobile-friendly design when viewed on a phone or tablet.
Popular features such as the interactive cover crop selection tools are still included on the new website, but are easier to find, according to Anna Morrow, Midwest Cover Crops Council program manager. “Our top priority is to make the information more accessible and user-friendly,” Morrow said. “Because the site will now be responsive to mobile technology, farmers can access materials while they’re out in the field. Also, the material will be more searchable, making it easier for people to locate information quickly.”
The Midwest Cover Crops Council is a group of experts from universities, Extension services, businesses and governments across 12 states and one Canadian province. The group’s goal is to promote ecological and economic sustainability by facilitating the use of cover crops. Michigan State University has been a member of the Midwest Cover Crops Council since its inception in 2006 and contributes Michigan cover crop information to the website.
The new website design is funded by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation, a philanthropic organization that funds education and conservation efforts in the South and Midwest.