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New articles out on Cover Crops in the Upper Midwest

During the week of March 18-21 I spoke at the Legacy Seeds Cover Crop Meetings to over 150 people in three Wisconsin towns about cover crops.  During each meeting I showed why folks should consider using cover crops (erosion control, nutrient management, compaction reduction, aeration/infiltration, etc…).  I also implored producers to be creative about applying […]

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This field had very poor soil structure. The regional NRCS specialist told me that many fields in the area had similar issues

Fall Cover Crop Management

While in southern Minnesota in early September 2013 I was asked when a farmer should plow his cover crop field this fall because he needs the fields to be “black” this winter in preparation for next spring.  I shuddered.  There I was in a beautiful field of cover crops that are jump-starting some biology on […]

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Corn planted into annual ryegrass cover crop

Results of Farmer Cover Crop Survey Conducted by SARE and CTIC

Folks, If you want to see how cover crops provide a very good ROI across a wide geographic region then this report is for you!  Thanks to Rob Meyers from SARE and the folks at CTIC for conducting and publishing this survey.  It helps me to see that the results on our home farm (and […]

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Inoculated peas are significantly better at producing nitrogen

Inoculating Cover Crop Legumes Pays Off

Several farmers have asked me why they need to spend an “extra” 4-6 cents per pound to inoculate the legume seed they are planting for producing nitrogen with their cover crops.  I get asked this especially about Austrian Winter Peas and Cowpea. However, if you are planting Crimson Clover, Berseem Clover, Kura Clover, Alsike, Hairy […]

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One of the joys of working with farmers is the excitement I see on their faces when they "get it" about soil health.  There were several excited farmers again this spring.

Cover Crop Root Pits Reveal Plenty

During the first week of April I was in several root pits in northwest Indiana and boy did we find plenty of interesting factoids! I was assisted by Eileen Kladivko from Purdue University on one day and Barry Fisher, Indiana NRCS State Agronomist, on another day. What We Found in the Cover Crop Root Pits […]

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Dave R and Ray A-1

Cover Crops and Ray the Soil guy

Over the past three years I have had the privilege of speaking at a number of meetings when Ray Archuleta is also on the agenda.  Ray is a tremendous source of knowledge and information on soil health and how cover crops and no-till help improve soil health.  Ray is an “expert” in every sense of […]

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Cover crops for gardens – and my wife, the cover cropping queen!

My wife Sally must love me…or at least she is observant to see how cover crops are improving the soil in our family gardens.  Over the nearly 19 years we have lived in our home we have had a garden where we often have raised vegetables for the Hispanic families that we minister to.  A […]

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Earthworm Population Corn Field Experiment

Robison Farms in the Greenwood, Indiana area have been no-till farming since the late 1960’s. The field that these videos were taken from has been no-tilled for approximately 20 consecutive years.  With the wet spring of 2011 the  gentleman that now does the field work for dad decided to chisel plow and disk most of […]

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66″ No-Till Corn Roots Following Cover Crops

I had a “see it to believe it” moment in late August near Stryker, Ohio (Williams County – NW Ohio).  A very long and deep root pit had been dug as Frank Gibbs (Ohio NRCS Resource Soil Scientist) was looking for the tile in a continuous no-till corn field.  I’m thankful that the tile was […]

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Medium Red Clover as a cover crop

Frost seeding clover into wheat has been a standard practice for many years.  Many producers have used “60/40 Plowdown Clover” in their wheat…but in many areas that practice has stopped as double crop soybean plantings have pushed further into northern Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.  If double crop soybeans are not an option (or not desired) […]

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