The Agronomy, Horticulture, Plant Pathology, and Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Departments at Iowa State University and the USDA-ARS National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment conduct research and outreach focused on cover crops. Cover crop research projects address their effectiveness in improving soil and water quality, cover crop effects on weeds, diseases, and pests, and the agronomic aspects of incorporating cover crops into cropping systems in Iowa. Other field and greenhouse studies are evaluating different potential cover crop species and their impact on soil microbial ecology.

Iowa Cover Crop Recipe – Post Corn, Going to Soybean: Use Cereal Rye
Iowa Cover Crop Recipe – Post Soybean, Going to Corn: Use Oats
Iowa Cover Crop Recipe – Post Corn Silage, Going to Corn: Use Cereal Rye
Iowa Cover Crop Recipe – Post Corn Silage, Going to Soybean: Use Cereal Rye
Please scroll down to read extension publications from Iowa.


Various agencies provide cover crop services at a local level. These resources can help with technical support and answer questions from a local perspective at no cost.

Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

Find your local NRCS Field Service Center

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Find your regional Extension Field Agronomist

Conservation Districts of Iowa

Find your County Soil and Water Conservation District

Integrated Crop Management - Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Additional outreach and on-farm research and demonstration projects are being conducted by the Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI), Leopold Center, and Iowa Learning Farms (ILF) across the state of Iowa.

Iowa Vegetable Resources can be found on the Iowa State Extension Vegetable Blog and the Iowa State Extension Sustainable Vegetable Production Page.

Feel free to contact your MCCC state representative for local questions and recommendations. Your MCCC state representative's contact information can be found on the State Contacts tab.

MCCC State Contact

Mark Licht
Associate Professor
Extension Cropping Systems Specialist
2104M Agronomy Hall
Ames, Iowa 50011-1010
Phone: 515-294-0877

Other Contacts

Sarah Carlson
Senior Programs and Member Engagement Director
Practical Farmers of Iowa
137 Lynn Ave, Suite 200
Ames, IA 50014
Phone: 515-232-5661

Ajay Nair
Associate Professor
Iowa State University
Department of Horticulture
145 Horticulture Hall
Ames, IA 50011-1050
Phone: 515-294-7080

Liz (Juchems) Ripley
Iowa Learning Farms
4329 Elings
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-1098
Phone: 515-294-5429

Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects

Eric Lee-Mader, Anne Stine, Jarrod Fowler, Jennifer Hopwood and Mace Vaughanby – Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation with contributions from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service August 2017 Cover Cropping for Pollinators… Show more