Managing cover crop pests for corn and soybean production
Cover crops can provide many benefits to row crop agriculture, such as reducing water loss and soil erosion, increasing soil organic matter and nutrients, and suppressing weeds. The incorporation of cover crops is also generally perceived as an important forage and refuge for natural enemies of insects and weeds. Diverse agroecosystems that include cover crops can have decreased pest pressure compared to monocultures (Root 1973). For example, soybean aphid populations can be lower in soybean fields with a rye cover crop (Koch et al. 2012).