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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Plant Biology

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Masoud Hashemi

Subject Categories

Agronomy and Crop Sciences


Cover crops are prized for their array of well documented and widely respected ecosystem services. Cover crops are an intrinsic part of building and sustaining soil health and thus the long term productive capacity of agricultural soils. However, effective cover crop adoption on New England dairy farms is lacking, and the benefits of traditional cover crops may be somewhat mismatched to the needs of dairy farms. Harvesting winter hardy small cereal grains for forage can provide practical incentive to farmers to incorporate effective cover crop management as well as provide an economic benefit in the form of additional on-farm forage production. In tandem, dual purpose cover crops can convey traditional ecosystem services while also helping to remove excess nitrogen and phosphorus applied in manure, thus providing enhanced nutrient cycling.