Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cover Crops

I have seen more cover crops this year than since I was a kid. We used to sow clover with a cyclone seeder by hand when I was little, in fact all the years I was on the farm. We could sow with no compaction to the soil compared to livestock or machinery.

Now we are using cover crops to erase a lot of the compaction caused by machinery today but for a whole lot more. Soil was meant to be covered and Mother Nature does it very well. Where there is bare ground there is no soil or there is a catastrophe like a glacier or a stone faced mountain.

Today a friend and I looked at cover crop plots replicated in his harvested wheat field. They all looked good but the grasses, radishes, buckwheat and peas stood out. They lopoked really good.

Near the edge there were weeds where there were no cover crops from last year and no weeds where volunteer covers had grown along the field edge. It is quite impressive to visually see some of the cover crop advantages we know to be true.

I talked to my supplier also today and he said he is hanging on to mine but had farmers who drove 200 miles to buy his seed.

Cover crops are hot and this is no passing fancy. Cover crops are here to stay in mainstream farming.


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