Farmers have long known that manure is a beneficial product for raising their crops. Research from Iowa State University (ISU) shows that it can be a successful component with cover crops, too.

Dan Andersen, assistant professor of agriculture and biosystems engineering at ISU, shared his insight about the importance of manure and cover crops at the Iowa Pork Congress recently.

Andersen reminded producers that manure adds micronutrients to the soil and improves soil health in general by increasing soil organic matter, improving porosity and aggregate stability. It also reduces soil’s bulk density and increases microbial activity and nutrient cycling.

Cover crops, when combined with livestock fertilizer,...