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Cover Crops

cover crop photo from Iowa Water Center and Rick Cruse


hazelnut hedge next to grass
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perennial biomass crops

Perennial Grains

intermediate wheatgrass harvest at The Land Institute
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Perennial Forages

Dick Cates grassland



About GLBW



watonwon river in southern MN Our Vision

Green Lands Blue Waters is a long-term vision for agriculture in the U.S. Midwest. It's based on the concept of getting as much value as possible from farmlands by growing crops that keep the soil covered year-round: farming with Continuous Living Cover. The value comes in yields and profits; but also in reduced risk, improved soil health, more wildlife, and cleaner water.



rye cover crop How?

Continuous Living Cover! Pasture and forage crops for livestock - biomass energy crops - agroforestry practices that add woody species as part of the cropping system - cover crops that keep soil covered after a row crop is harvested - and multi-year rotations that incorporate perennial crops and winter annuals with corn, soybean, small grains, vegetables, and other summer annual crops.



people in biomass plotsOur Partners

Green Lands Blue Waters is a partnership of universities, producer associations, environment groups, agricultural businesses, and government agencies. Together we are improving the genetics of crops, translating knowledge into Continuous Living Cover cropping systems, building extension and outreach capacity, and building profitable markets for new crops.



Photo Credits:



Hazelnuts -- Brent McCown, professor emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Perennial grasses -- Steve John, Agricultural Watershed Institute

Cover crop in cornfield -- Rick Cruse, Iowa Water Center, Iowa State University

Grassland -- Dick Cates, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Intermediate wheatgrass harvest -- The Land Institute, Salina, KS

Watonwan River -- Linda Meschke, Rural Advantage

Rye cover crop in corn -- Mark Zumwinkle, Minnesota Department of Agriculture

People touring biomass plots -- Steve John, Agricultural Watershed Institute



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