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Evaluating avian use of cover crop fields in the Corn Belt


August 2018 - July 2021


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.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 3

Masters Students: 7

Phd Students: 1

Post Docs: 0

University Staff: 1

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 18

Scientific Publications: 55

Presentations: 119



Funding Agencies

  • Natural Resource Conservation Service


South Dakota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks
  2. South Dakota State University
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. Wildlife Management Institute