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The objective of this study was to assess and compare the environmental performance of a maize [Zea mays L.]-soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] cropping system with different winter cover crops - camelina, pennycress, and rye - in the U.S. upper Midwest. The environmental impact assessment was carried out using a “cradle-to-gate” life cycle assessment methodology. The results of this study suggest that the introduction of camelina and pennycress as winter-hardy cover crops has a strong potential for reducing the environmental impacts of the maize-soybean rotation. However, a field management optimization of these cover crops in a relay-cropping system is needed to make them a sustainable agricultural practice.
Read more https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2021.103062