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This cover crop field was ready for harvest in late September 2012.

Cover Crops in Wisconsin – Full Speed Ahead!

I took a new management position in May of 2012 with Wisconsin based Legacy Seeds, Inc. While my main responsibility lies in working with alfalfa and forages I also was pleased to find out that there were several folks in Wisconsin that were using cover crops!  Well, you would figure that I’d get involved more […]

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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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Cover Crops in the Great Plains – a view from a long time cover crop user- Part 2

In this cover crop post I again quote Paul Conway from Kansas, who is giving his input on cover crops in the Great Plains. In this article, Paul shares his experience with Austrian winter peas, field peas, chickling vetch, and hairy vetch. Dave, Austrian Winter Peas: I have limited and disappointing experience with Austrian Winter […]

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Not only does the crimson clover add nitrogen to the soil it also greatly enhances the soil structure.  The soil on the right came from where there was only radishes planted.  The soil on the left had crimson clover and radishes mixed together.

Nutrient Scavenging Cover Crops – How much good are they doing? It depends.

Meet the Cover Crop Scavengers Over the years I have worked with cover crops I have recommended that producers use “scavengers” like Annual Ryegrass, turnips, cereal rye,  winter barley, oats,  and cover crop radishes.  These cover crops do a very good job of capturing excess nitrogen and other nutrients and keeping them from reaching the […]

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No-Till Corn on Corn planted into Oats and AU Robin Crimmson Clover

Photo diary- Corn after a cover crop (after corn)

“Planting this corn field was like planting into a garden” said my friend Dave.   He has been a ‘cover cropper” for six years now.  This year Dave no-tilled approximately 50% of his acres.  Dave is one of the most innovative guys I know…but he’s also “cautious”; he does not want to lose money!  That’s why […]

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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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“Where is my nitrogen?”

This question keeps coming up on a regular basis in cover crop meetings….”where is my nitrogen?” There are a number of things we know: * Legumes produce N and some of that N is available for the next crop.

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Cover Crop plots in December-What can we tell now? part 2

In this post we look at two more videos of mixes on December 2, 2010.  This first mix in this session is of Austrian Winter Peas and GroundHog Radishes.  The seeding rate is 30# Peas and 5# of Radish per acre.  The main thing we observe in this plot is the larger radishes than we […]

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Cover Crop plots in December-What can we tell now?

The first day of December brought the first day of snow in northern Indiana.  After the inch or so of snow and some Arctic air the cover crops are shutting down.  Over the past three weeks we received around 5″ of rain so the cover crops were actually growing fairly well heading into December.  Now […]

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Crimson Clover…Great Cover Crop for Corn Producers

After talking to hundreds of row crop producers about cover crops, I was reminded of how much crimson clover offers to the corn farmer.  Not only will crimson clover produce somewhere between 70-140 units of N (with approximately 1/2 of that being available for the next crop…the other percentage goes to building soil organic matter), it also […]

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