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NC State Extension

Managing Cover Crops for Coastal Plain

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Coastal plain region- Low residual N, sandy soils prone to wind erosion, E horizon prone to compaction

Fall/Winter crops Spring/Summer crops
Legumes Hairy vetch (suited to sandy soils, moderate biomass in NC and high nitrogen) Cowpeas ( good erosion control, not suited to wet conditions)

Crimson clover

( more and faster dry matter prodn. in spring, erect growth-easy to manage, crimson clover-late spring crops, crimson clover-no till corn, good for reseeding)

Soybeans (Better aggregation- enhanced water infiltration)
Austrian winter pea ( frost damage prone, but can be planted in both west (early), east (late) Sunn hemp (Better aggregation- enhanced water infiltration)
Cahaba white vetch (not winter hardy, can be planted in winter of warmer region) Velvet bean
Blue lupine ( adapted to slightly acid soils)
White lupine
Small grains (suitable for late planting in CP region) Cereal Rye (soil erosion resistance in sandier coastal plain soils, early fall growth, reduces nitrate leaching from surface waters) Sorghum sudangrass ( greater density, height- wind erosion control, than all millets) 
Oats ( More biomass than wheat and barley, better for mixture with legumes) Sorghum
Wheat ( Hessian fly prone- late planting after first frost in winter can help) Browntop millet
Triticale (deep roots can help break compaction) Japanese millet
Annual Ryegrass Pearl millet ( suited to acid, droughty soils)
Brassicas Daikon radish ( Deep rooted- breaks compaction, and nutrient scavenging)
Other brassicas ( Canola, Turnips, Kale, Collards, Mustards)
Broadleaf plants Sunflower
Buckwheat ( help break surface crusting)