Planted to produce biomass, reduce erosion and nutrient loss, and enhance soil structure when cash crops are not growing. Cover crops are not typically harvest, but instead are terminated mechanically or with herbicide prior to planting cash crops.
A well-accepted approach for managing pests and diseases, thus reducing the need for pesticides. Planting a different crop into the soil each year also nourishes the biological ecosystem below the ground, creating more favorable growing conditions for crops.
A range of practices that reduce soil disturbance from plowing and maintain a minimum of 60% residue cover on the soil surface throughout the year; this prevents erosion and nutrient loss. Common conservation tillage methods include no-till and strip till, where only a very narrow strip of land is tilled for planting.