University of Manitoba: Natural Systems Agriculture: Cover Crops and Green Manures
University of Manitoba Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Department of Plant Science

Cover Crops
and Green Manures

Cover crops are defined as low-growing understory crops that often grow outside the main-crop growing period. Cover crops offer services to the cropping systems such as adding soil N, reducing soil erosion, increasing soil quality and suppressing weeds. Green manure crops are crops grown specifically to replenish the soil system, typically with N, but also P and other nutrients. In wet areas, green manure crops are often grown as cover crops, while in drier areas green manure crops are typically used during the summerfallow phase of the rotation.


Green Manure Crops

Cover Crops

Published Cover Crop Research and Reviews

We have been conducting and publishing research on cover crops since 1999. Below is a selection of our publications related to cover crops in both conventional and organic production systems.

Availability of late-season heat and water resources for relay and double cropping with winter wheat in prairie Canada. J.R. Thiessen Martens and M.H. Entz. 2001.

Legume cover crops with winter cereals in southern Manitoba: Establishment, productivity and microclimate effects. J.R. Thiessen Martens, J.W. Hoeppner, and M.H. Entz. 2001.

Legume cover crops with winter cereals in southern Manitoba: Fertilizer replacement values for oat. J.R. Thiessen Martens, M.H. Entz, and J.W. Hoeppner. 2005.

Cover crop effects on infiltration, soil temperature, and soil moisture distribution in the Canadian Prairies. F.C. Kahimba, R. Sri Ranjan, J. Froese, M. Entz, and R. Nason. 2008.

Integrating green manure and grazing systems: A review. J.R. Thiessen Martens and M.H. Entz. 2011.

Productivity and nitrogen benefits of late-season legume cover crops in organic wheat production. H. Cicek, M.H. Entz, J.R. Thiessen Martens, and P.R. Bullock. 2014.

Late-season catch crops reduce nitrate leaching risk after grazed green manures but release N slower than wheat demand. H. Cicek, J.R. Thiessen Martens, K.C. Bamford, and M.H. Entz. 2015.

Review: Redesigning Canadian prairie cropping systems for profitability, sustainability, and resilience. J.R. Thiessen Martens, M.H. Entz, and M.D. Wonneck. 2015.

Copyright and Liability

This page created October 2005.
Last updated September 2018.