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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

Dale Mutch

Michigan State Coordinator, Dale R. Mutch

Michigan State University / W. K. Kellogg Biological Station
3700 E. Gull Lake Drive
Hickory Corners, MI 49060-9516
Phone: 269-671-2412, ext. 224
Click here to visit NCR-SARE website.

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 has been on low-input and organic farming systems.  His applied research focuses on participatory projects that use farmer advisory teams to direct and validate the work.  Mutch manages ten OCIA-certified organic research acres.

Other important contacts in Michigan

Sieg Snapp
Associate 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.

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.



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