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Crop residue is vegetation that is intentionally left to decay in an agricultural field after the crop has been harvested. It begins as a living mulch to keep soil covered and prevent erosion and later becomes a valuable amendment that builds soil organic matter.

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Crop Residue

Crop Residue

Photo by Douglas Gayeton

Crop Residue

Location: Sun Sprout Farm
Featuring: Organic Farmer Simon, NRCS Resource Conservationist Joesph

"If you don't cover crop your soil, there's nothing holding it together."
- Simon

How do certified organic farmers like Simon build soil fertility without the use of chemical fertilizers? By planting cover crops.

Cover crops increase soil fertility through the addition of organic matter, break pest and disease cycles, allow the ground to rest, increase soil moisture, suppress weeds, and minimize erosion. These benefits collectively increase farmers' crop yields. NRCS helps farmers plan and plant cover crops throughout the year as a part of planned rotation.

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