Environmental trade-offs of relay-cropping winter cover crops with soybean in a maize-soybean cropping system - Andrea Cecchin, Ghasideh Pourhashem, Russ W. Gesch, Andrew W. Lenssen, Yesuf A. Mohammed, Swetabh Patel, Marisol T. Berti - Agricultural System

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