When is cover cropping an effective and affordable practice to increase soil C?

In part 5, “Cover Crops”, Alejandro Plastina at Iowa State University and Shelby McClelland at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations will discuss the economics and soil carbon impacts of adopting cover crops. In temperate regions, cover cropping has been proposed as a way to keep the soil covered between cash crops and increase the amount of C added to soils. The speakers today will discuss the economic implications and soil carbon outcomes associated with this practice.

Time: September 29, 3:00 PM Eastern.

Dr. Shelby McClelland is a Livestock Production and Climate Change Specialist for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in the Livestock Information, Sector Analysis, and Policy Branch (NSAL). Her research focuses on soil organic matter dynamics, trace gas emissions, and alternative crop and livestock management systems. She is interested in quantifying the benefits and impacts of natural climate solutions in managed ecosystems on net GHG emissions and biodiversity. Her past work includes improving the representation of cover crop management systems in DayCent and the COMET-Farm tool. She was a 2020-2021 Sustainability Leadership Fellow at the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University. Dr. McClelland received her Ph.D. in Ecology from CSU and B.S. from Cornell University in International Agriculture and Rural Development.

Dr. Alejandro Plastina is an Associate Professor/Extension Economist in the Department of Economics at Iowa State University (ISU). His area of specialization is agricultural production and technology, with an emphasis on farm business and financial management. His research focuses on  the socioeconomic drivers of conservation practices, voluntary pest resistance management, voluntary carbon programs, and agricultural productivity. He is Associate Director of the ISU-Iowa Bankers Association and an Academic Member of the Iowa Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraiser. He serves as Advisor to the ISU Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation, Chair of the ISU Farm Financial Stress Task Force, and past Chair of the North Central Farm Management Extension Committee. He has been recognized as the first Farm Foundation Agricultural Economics Fellow (2021), and has received the ISU Office of the President Excellence in Remote Instruction Award (2021), the ISU Extension and Outreach Creativity in Service to All Iowans Award (2020), the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association Distinguished Extension Program Award (2019), the ISU ANR Programming Innovation Award (2018), and the ISU Extension and Outreach Impacting Iowa Award (2015). Prior to joining Iowa State University in 2014, Dr. Plastina was Senior Economist at the International Cotton Advisory Committee in Washington, DC. He graduated with a BA in Economics from the University of La Plata (Argentina) in 2000, and an MS in Statistics and a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2005 and 2007, respectively.