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The Leopold Center is a research and education center on the campus of Iowa State University created to identify and reduce negative environmental and social impacts of farming and develop new ways to farm profitably while conserving natural resources. The Center's work is focused in these initiatives - ecological systems research, marketing and food systems research, policy research and cross-cutting research that bridges all areas (water, energy, soil and alternative farming systems).
In this experimental system, the rye cover crop becomes mulch for the next cash crop. Kathleen Delate, who leads Iowa State's Organic Agriculture program, explains what has been learned from her research since 2005 on this system. At a specific time in the spring, the rye is crushed by equipment developed at the Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania. The process allows no-till systems to be used in organic production, which typically rely on cultivation. Watch the video.