Burdine, B.1; Barnett, T.2; Wills, G.3
1Extension Agronomy Specialist, Mississippi State University, New Albany, MS, 38652
2County Director, MSU ES, Pittsboro, MS, 38951
3County Director, MSU ES, New Albany, MS, 38652


The SARE funded, CoverItUp project, was designed to educate Extension agents, consultants, and producers of the benefits in utilizing cover crops to improve farm sustainability through soil health initiatives. Demonstration plots, field days, classroom and field trainings provided opportunities for attendees to learn in a real-world situation. Forty demo plots of cover crop mixtures were the primary teaching tool. The Train-the-Trainer events prepared Extension agents to discuss cover crop benefits and limitations with producers. The 2-year project included 4 field days with 126 attendees. Participants received thumb drives preloaded with pertinent fact sheets. Soil erosion simulator provided a visual learning environment to highlight soil loss between various soil covers.  Marketing items were distributed to increase long-term awareness. This project is an approved Plan-of-Work activity and agents have a “ready-to-use” program for county programming. Attendees indicated increased knowledge of 65 to 100% for each of the following areas: specie selection, planting date, seeding methods, termination tactic, effect on water quality, effects on soil erosion, and soil health.  Outcomes were field days (4), Extension publications (3), national presentations (2), Mentor Farmers (4), popular press articles (3).

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