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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, Senior Research Associate
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 Senior Research Associate in Michigan State University (MSU) Extension.  Dean is involved in cover crop 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 (MCCC) and coordinates MCCC activities including the promotion of cover crop usage in the Midwest and the development of tools to assist farmers in cover crop decision-making.  He is the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Coordinator for the state of Michigan coordinating and promoting SARE programs including the professional development, farmer rancher, research and education, and graduate student grant programs through the North Central Region of SARE.

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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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.

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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.

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Erin Hill
Research Assistant II
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 research assistant with the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences 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.

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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.

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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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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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