Alaska Association of Conservation Districts

Cover Crop Variety Trial 2021-2022       

During spring 2021, we initiated a cover crop variety trial in Fairbanks with a total of twenty-three species in 12 functional groups.  This project was funded by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and is being implemented through the Alaska Association of Conservation Districts.  There are six soil and water conservation districts participating in the trial: Fairbanks, Salcha-Delta, Wasilla, Palmer, Kenai, and Homer.  We will be able to compare results across sites to make recommendations to farmers and gardeners about what cover crops grow best in their area.

 

The Cover Crop Varieties

Sunshine Barley

Otal Barley

2 Row Barley

Kenland Red Clover

Medium Red Clover    

Mammoth Red Clover

Toral Oats   

Athabaska Oats

Naked Oats

Nematode Control Radish

Nitro Radish   

Collards

Purple Top Turnip

Turbo Turnip

White Gold Mustard    

Austrian Winter Peas

Wyoming Winter Peas    

 

Control

Black Oil Sunflower

Mancan Buckwheat

Golden Flax    

Berberal Rye

FX Winter Triticale    

813 Winter Triticale

What are cover crops?

Cover crops are secondary crops that farmers and gardeners use to improve soil health and increase subsequent crop yields.

 

What are the benefits of cover crops?

Properly managed cover crops provide a variety of benefits such as preventing soil erosion, conserving soil moisture, cutting fertilizer costs, protecting water quality, suppressing weeds and reducing the need for herbicides, breaking pest cycles, and increasing soil organic matter. 

 

How do I select a cover crop?

Selection of a cover crop depends upon your objective or the benefit you are seeking, what grows in your climate, and your soil conditions.  We are conducting this study to provide more specific recommendations on cover crop selection to interior Alaska farmers and gardeners!

 

Remember this!

Cover crops can become problematic if not properly managed.  They should be harvested or terminated before mature seed shatters into the soil.