South Dakota Project
Evaluating avian use of cover crop fields in the Corn Belt
August 2018 - July 2021
- Natural Resource Conservation Service
Fall-seeded cover crops are an emerging technology in the upper Midwest, intended to improve soil health, crop yields, and reduce erosion. Wildlife benefits may also be realized from the planting of cover crops, but because a row crop is planted and harvested, often during the avian nesting season, the impact on wildlife, and avifauna in particular is largely unknown. In this study, we will evaluate breeding bird use and, to a smaller extent, nest survival of grassland nesting songbirds in cover crops in Iowa.