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Activities and research

Click here to explore cover crops related research in Minnesota

Click here to read about how Minnesota farmers using cover crops

Learn about the work of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture here


State representative

Donald Wyse

Donald L. Wyse, Ph.D.
Professor - University of Minnesota
Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics
411 Borlaug Hall
1991 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108
Phone: 651-625-7064
Fax: 612-625-1268

Dr. Wyse is a Professor in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, and Co-Director of the Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches and does research in weed biology and ecology, biological weed management, agroecology, and perennial crop breeding. His overall research focus has been on the development of multifunctional cropping systems that produce ecosystem services, are highly productive, and economically viable.  Specific research areas have included the design of cropping systems that provide continuous living cover and the evaluation of their impact on soil erosion, nutrient, and water management; impact of cropping systems on management of invasive species; use of cover crops to develop no-tillage organic grain and vegetable cropping systems; breeding of perennial grasses, perennial sunflower, and perennial flax; breeding and selection of hairy vetch and mustard species as cover crops.


Other important contacts in the state

Carl Rosen
Professor and Extension Soil Scientist
Department of Soil, Water, & Climate
University of Minnesota
1991 Upper Buford
St. Paul, MN 55108
Phone: 612-625-8114

Carl Rosen is an Extension Soil Scientist with primary responsibilities in nutrient management for horticultural crops.  His interest in cover crops for potato production has implications for both disease and nutrient management.

Read more about Carl's research here.

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Robin Martinek Robin Martinek
State Agronomist, NRCS
375 Jackson St. Ste. 600
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone:  651-602-7866

Robin Martinek has worked for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service for more than 30 years as a soil conservationist and now as the state conservation agronomist.  She is responsible for writing and updating the conservation practice standards that deal with agronomic issues, doing training for field office staff, and working with other state agencies and regional agronomists to get new and updated information and technical tools to field staff and producers who need it.  She is a member of the Minnesota Sustainable Farming Association and works closely with many other organizations and producers to promote the use of conservation practices that are economic and sustainable.

Read more about Robin's research here.

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Mark Zumwinkle and Adam Herges
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Development and Financial Assistance Division
625 Robert Street North
St. Paul, MN 55155-2538
Phone: 651-201-6240

The focus at Minnesota Department of Agriculture is a farmer first approach.  Mark Zumwinkle and Adam Herges work directly with creative farmers to push new cropping systems that simultaneously improve environmental quality and profitability. They often cooperate directly with the University of Minnesota researchers to add rigor to the on-farm work.

For more details on the work Mark and Adam are doing please click here.

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Rural Advantage

Rural Advantage is a nonprofit organization, located in south central Minnesota, with the mission to promote the connections between agriculture, the environment and rural communities in order to improve ecological health, economic viability and rural vitality.

Contact Information:
Linda Meschke, President - E-mail Linda
Jeff Jensen, Program Assistant - E-mail Jeff
and a Conservation Agronomist (to be hired)

1243 Lake Avenue, Suite 222
Fairmont, MN 56031-1942
Rural Advantage logo

Read more about Rural Advantage here.


MCCC Report

Links to state specific literature

University of Minnesota links

Minnesota Impacts - Cropping Systems, Cover Crops, and Alternative Crops in Northern Minnesota

Minnesota Agricultural Research Station

Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA)

The Center for Integrated Natural Resources & Agricultural Management (CINRAM)

Green Manure Cover Crops for Minnesota (Yard & Garden Brief) by Jill MacKenzie
(PDF version here pdf logo)

Use of Green Manure Cover Crops Improves Disease Management MN Vegetable IPM Newsletter Vol 4 No. 5 Research Update: June 8, 2007.
By Dr. Vince Fritz, University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center.

Weed Suppressing Cover Crops-In a Crop Rotation Programby Jaime DeRosier (farmer), and Hans Kandel (Extension Educator U of M Extension Service)

Rye as a Cover Crop Prior to No-till Organic Soybeans in MN pdf logo by Dr. Paul Porter

Oraganic Ecology - Information, education and announcements about organic ecology research and outreach


Other links

NRCS-MN Agronomy Job Sheet on cover crops (340) pdf logo

NRCS-MN Conservation Practice Standard for Cover Crops pdf logo (#340-1)

Minnesota Department of Agriculture Cover Crops links

Minnesota Department of Agriculture: Greenbook 2007: Hands of Change (Page 24: Improved Management of Rye Cover Crops for Organic Soybean Production)

Are you covered? Stop soil erosion on canning and row crop acres. pdf logo by Mark Zumwinkle (MDA)

The Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota

Using Cover Crops pdf logo (Dowling Community Garden)

Cover Crops – A new look at an old practice (p. 13) pdf logo by Robin Martinek (NRCS State Agronomist)

Alternative Field Crops Manual

New cover crop research builds on producers' success by Sue Roesler, For Minnesota Farm Guide (July 3, 2008)

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