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Cover crops are planted to increase the health and fertility of soils and to benefit the surrounding environment (SARE 2007). By covering the soil
surface, cover crops reduce soil erosion caused by rainfall events, water runoff, wind, or their combinations. The mulch like cover provided by cover crops also limits the access of light, thereby inhibiting or slowing the growth of weeds. Another benefit of cover crops is that the root system increases pore formation, which increases water infiltration and soil aeration and reduces soil compaction.
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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
February 23, 2017