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Activities and research

To be added to the Minnesota Cover Crop Listserv email Phyllis Bongard (

Minnesota Cover Crop Business Directory (June 2016 edition)

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

Scott Wells

M. Scott Wells, Assistant Professor
University of Minnesota
Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics
411 Borlaug Hall
1991 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108
Phone: 612-6253747

M. Scott Wells is an Assistant Professor in Agronomy and Plant Genetics at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He is the newly hired forage and cropping systems extension agronomist. Recently, Scott completed his PhD at North Carolina State University researching weed suppression mechanisms of roller-crimped cover crops in organic corn and soybean systems.  His current research program focuses on improving the yield and quality of forage production systems including alfalfa, warm and cool season grasses, and small grains, along with employing a systems approach to improving the both the economical and environmental sustainability of corn and soybean production in Minnesota. Current projects include emergency forages, alfalfa management, double cropping forages and small grains, establishment of cover crops in corn and soybean systems, and assessing the water and soil quality impacts of cover crops, crop rotation and perennial based production systems.

Other important contacts in Minnesota

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MCCC Report


Links to state specific literature

University of Minnesota links

University of Minnesota Extension- Cover Crop Resources. November 2014.

Prevented Plant: Cover Crop Options- Fact Sheet. April 2013.

An NCR-SARE Cover Crop Project: Farmer-cooperator motivation and agronomic practices. Poster. University of Minnesota Extension Program Conference.  Duluth, MN.  October 7, 2013.

An NCR-SARE Cover Crop Project: Farmer-cooperator motivation and agronomic practices. Article. J. NACAA. 6(2).

Minnesota Agricultural Research Station

Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA)

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

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.

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

University of Minnesota Extension- Conservation Agronomy Facebook Page


Other links

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

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

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Other important contacts in Minnesota

Julie Grossman
Assistant Professor- University of Minnesota
454 Alderman Hall
1970 Fowell Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108
Phone:  612-625-8597

Bio coming soon...

Read more about Julie's research here.


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.


Jill Sackett Eberhart
Board Conservationist – Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources
21371 State Highway 15
New Ulm, MN 56073
Phone:  507-359-6091

Jill Sackett Eberhart began working with cover crops while with the University of Minnesota Extension from 2008-2016. During that time, she was involved in the NCR-SARE cover crop project that Practical Farmers of Iowa and Rural Advantage administered from 2009-2012. In 2011, Sackett organized a group of Minnesotans experienced in cover crops and worked with members of the Midwest Cover Crop Council to develop the Minnesota Cover Crop Decision Tool.  She also developed numerous articles, factsheets, the Minnesota Cover Crop Business Directory, and administered the Minnesota Cover Crop Listserv.  Now with the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, Sackett Eberhart will work with local government units and landowners to increase soil health and water quality with the utilization of practices such as cover crops, buffers, etc.


Carissa Spencer
State Agronomist- Minnesota Natural Resources Conservation Service
address coming soon
Phone:  651-602-7866


Robin Martinek 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:  651-625-1268

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.


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

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

Read more about Rural Advantage here.



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