Adynn Stedillie

Session 2
Board Number

How Cover Crops Alter Soil Health

Many soil components are important indicators of soil health, including soil organic matter (SOM), soil carbon, nitrogen, and enzyme activity within the soil microbial community. Enzyme assays are a measure of this enzyme activity, specifically how soil microbes process and cycle nutrients like nitrogen, carbon, and phosphorus, among others. In agriculture, these nutrients are lost as harvested materials leave the fields. Cover crops are used to replenish these materials when they are reincorporated into the soil and the organic matter is broken down. This study measures the effect of different types of cover crops on soil using a fluorometric enzyme assay of hydrolytic enzymes to measure soil health.