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MI Cover crop seed source information (2011)

Activities and research

The Cover Crops Program at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station / Michigan State University focuses on integrating cover crops into Michigan field crop systems. Our goal is to make information from research readily available so farmers can make better decisions about using cover crops on their farms.


State representative

Dean Baas, Extension Educator
Michigan State University Extension
St. Joesph County
612 E. Main St.
Centreville, MI 49032
Phone: 269-467-5511

Click here to visit NCR-SARE website for Michigan.

Dean Baas is an Extension Educator in Sustainable Agriculture for Michigan State University Extension. Dean is involved in cover crop, soil health and organic agriculture research and education. Farmers and commodity groups are an integral part of his projects and programs.  He is a member of the Midwest Cover Crops Council Executive Committee. He is the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Coordinator for the state of Michigan.

He has a Ph.D. in Environmental Geosciences and Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering and a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from MSU.  Prior to returning to MSU for graduate study, he had a 20-year career with the Kellogg Company.

Other important contacts in Michigan

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MCCC Report

Selection of cover crops used in various systems in Michigan


Cereal Rye:

Clovers and Medic:

  • Using red clover as a cover crop in wheat-2011- D. Hudson, D. Mutch, T. Martin, W. Everman, J. Knorek, and M. Staton
  • Red Clover Overview of use, establishment and management of red clovers in Michigan.
  • Crimson Clover Overview of benefits, establishment and how crimson clover can be integrated into crop rotations.
  • Annual medics (Medicago spp.) are legumes closely related to alfalfa. They are true annuals flowering, setting seed and dying within one growing season (60 to 100 days). There are more than 35 known species of annual medics, all of which have their origins in the Mediterranean region.

Oilseed Radish:

  • Oilseed Radish Overview of benefits, establishment and management of oilseed radish.
  • Oilseed Radish: A New Cover Crop for Michigan Pdf logo A bulletin to help farmers manage oilseed radish cover crops in order to optimize those benefits and the efficiency of their farming systems. This publication summarizes results of studies conducted at the Michigan State University W.K. Kellogg Biological Station and the MSU Muck Research Farm, and in on-farm demonstrations. MSU Extension Bulletin E 2907.

Winter wheat:

  • Winter Annual Cover Crop Pdf logo Wheat as an Early Spring Forage Source. Kurt Thelen and Rich Leep, Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences, MSU.



MSU KBS logo Michigan State University cover crops website:


NRCS logo


MSU logo Michigan State University Extension (bulletins)


  • From Soil Problems to Progress: Advanced Cover Crops Systems PlanningPDF presentation by Vicki Morrone and Sieglinde Snapp (MSU)
  • Cover Crops - Their Challenges and Benefits PDF
    presentation by Vicki Morrone (MSU)
  • Mixtures of legume and grass summer cover crops for integrated weed and soil management PDF presentation by Daniel Brainard (MSU), and Virender Kumar, Robin Bellinder, Laurie Drinkwater (Cornell University)
  • Identifying the factors affecting cover crop performance in row crops under organic management PDF
    presentation by David Munoz, Sasha Kravchenko, Sieglinde Snapp and Ron Gehl
  • Critical Considerations in Managing Nematodes with Potential Trap and Cover Crops PDF presentation by Haddish Melakeberhan (MSU)
  • Organic Fresh Market Tomato Yield Response To Rye And Hairy Vetch Cover Crops With Or Without Compost PDF
    presentation by Ajay Nair And Mathieu Ngouajio (MSU)
  • Nutrient Management With Cover Crops PDF presentation by Darryl Warncke (MSU)
  • Cover crop mixtures for integrated weed and nitrogen management PDF
    presentation by Daniel Brainard (MSU)
  • Developing New Low-input No-till Systems Using Cover Crops PDF
    presentation by Dale R. Mutch and Todd E. Martin (MSU)
  • Fitting bio-fumigant cover crops into intensive vegetable production systems for integrated crop management PDF presentation by Mathieu Ngouajio

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    Other important contacts in Michigan

    Christina Curell
    Nutrient Management and Water Quality Educator
    Agriculture and Agri-Business Institute- Michigan State University Extension
    Michigan State University Extension
    830 Michigan Ave. P.O. Box 274
    Baldwin, MI. 49304
    Phone: 231-745-2732

    Christina Curell has worked for Michigan State University Extension for 16 years as a water quality educator. Her role primarily is assisting growers on farm and corporately on ways to minimize their farming practices risk to water quality while ensuring their farm is sustainable and profitable. Currently she is the statewide Nutrient Management and Water Quality Educator for the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute. For the past three years Christina has devoted her time to helping farmers incorporate appropriate cover crops into their cropping systems.


    Paul Gross
    Extension Educator
    Michgian State University Extension- Isabella County
    200 N Main St.
    Mount Plesant, MI 48858
    Phone: 989-772-0911

    Paul has been County Extension Director and Field Crops Educator in Isabella County Michigan since 1991. During that time he was an active member of the Field Crops Area of Expertise Team, Cover Crops Team as well as the Forage Team. His programming has included planning, developing, and implementing field crops, cover crops, and forage research and educational programs in Isabella and surrounding counties. On farm research include corn, soybean, and wheat variety trials, tillage, nitrogen management, cover crops and soil health, and wheat fungicides. Workshop topics include integrated pest management, corn and soybean field days, commodity marketing workshops, pesticide education workshops, cost of production workshops, and farm safety programs. More recent workshops include several on cover crops and building soil health as part of the Great Lakes Cover Crop Initiative. Paul is a member and past president of the Michigan Association of Extension Agents.


    Erin Hill
    Cover Crop Specialist and Weed Diagnostician
    Michgian State University
    Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences
    1066 Bogue St., A285 PSSB
    East Lansing, MI 48824
    Phone: 517-355-0271 x1234

    Erin Hill has been a Cover Crop Specialist and Weed Diagnostician with the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences since 2015, and previously worked in the same department as a weed science research assistant since 2006. She is earned her Ph.D. in Crop and Soil Science in 2014 with a focus on how cover crops impact nutrient cycling and weed pressure in organic dry bean systems. Erin previously earned her M.S. in Horticulture, also from MSU, exploring the impacts of competition and allelopathy of hairy vetch and cowpea cover crops on weed communities in pickling cucumber. In addition to cover crops, Erin’s research and extension interests include sustainable weed management, weed ecology, and herbicide resistance management. Erin joined the MCCC at the inaugural meeting in 2006 and has served as the web administrator since the launch of in 2008.


    Dale Mutch
    Retired- Michigan State University Extension

    Dale Mutch has more than 28 years of research and Extension experience in organic farming, IPM, cover crops and sustainable agriculture.  He has served on the NCR-SARE Administrative Council, Technical Committee and Producer Grants Program.  In July 2007, Mutch became Michigan’s Sustainable Agriculture State Coordinator for NCR-SARE.  His career emphasis was on low-input and organic farming systems.  His applied research focused on participatory projects that use farmer advisory teams to direct and validate the work.  Mutch also managed ten OCIA-certified organic research acres.


    Sieg Snapp
    Professor, Soils and Cropping System Ecologist
    Michgian State University/ W. K. Kellogg Biological Station
    576 Plant and Soil Sciences Building
    East Lansing, MI 48824
    Phone: 517-282-5644
    Click here to visit Dr. Snapp's website.

    Since Dr. Snapp joined MSU in 1999, her research and extension has prioritized understanding biological principles to improve cropping system design, including enhanced winter cover through cover crops and perennial grain crops. This includes investigating which cover crop species work best for different soil types and cropping systems, and improving our understanding of root traits that promote phosphorus and nitrogen efficiency as well as healthy crops.  Predicting availability of nitrogen and phosphorus in sustainable farming systems is of particular interest. Dr. Snapp coordinates a website at MSU on applied soil ecology management Partnerships are central to her approach, involving farmers, educators and researchers working together to improve options for sustainable management.


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