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Early Lessons from Ridgetown’s Long-term Cover Crop Trial for Field Crops

Dr. Dave Hooker and his colleagues have been curious about the value of integrating cover crops into a farming operation in the long term. These questions have remained unanswered by numerous short-term trials they had been conducting, which led them to establish a new trial. As it can take time for a cropping system to equilibrate, this long-term cover crop trial was developed with the hope of uncovering the answers to the questions they had, as well as the questions yet to be asked. Two trial sites have been established in Southern Ontario to capture two different regional environments. The Ridgetown trial represents the deep southwest while the trial at the Elora Research Station represents a shorter growing season. At each location, two primary cropping systems are being investigated, with a specific focus on the response of these systems to a range of cover crop intensities.

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