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ICCON New and Emerging Cover Crops Winter Series: CoverCress(TM)

With support from the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council (NREC), ICCON will be hosting a 4-part winter series exploring “New and Emerging Cover Crops.” The widespread adoption of cover crops in Illinois is critical to achieving the goals of the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy, but we can’t rely on a one-cover-crop-fits-all-farms solution. We will need options for farmers to choose from that will best fit their unique needs. Looking beyond cereal rye, ICCON’s winter series will feature research, on-farm experience, and insights on 4 different species to expand the possibilities of cover crop adoption across Illinois.

In the second session of ICCON’s winter series, we will receive an update on the development of a commercial seed product, “CoverCress,” by researchers in several Illinois universities. Dr. Win Phippen, a Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics in the School of Agriculture at Western Illinois University, will discuss how researchers are developing the cash cover-crop pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) to be grown as a winter annual industrial crop throughout the U.S. Midwest Corn Belt.  Off-season integration of pennycress into existing corn and soybean acres would extend the growing season on established croplands and avoid displacement of food crops or ecosystems while yielding up to an additional 2 billion gallons of oil annually. Through the advances in plant breeding and gene editing, researchers have converted wild pennycress into a commercial seed product named CoverCresstm. The conversion of pennycress involved not only improvements in yield and maturity through traditional breeding but also improvements in the composition of the oil and protein.  Developers argue that the CoverCresstm crop is unique among winter cover crops in that it can generate income as an oilseed crop thereby providing incentive for adoption by producers and stakeholders.

CEUs will be available for this series.

  • Event Date & Time

    December 14, 2022 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am CST

  • Event Location

  • Cost