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There are thousands upon Thousands of acres - mainly in the upper Midwest not planted in early June 2013.

Cover Crops and Prevented Planting Guidelines

Over the past few weeks I have heard from countless farmers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, and Iowa that are considering taking prevented planting on all or parts of their farms. Growers Edge just published an excellent piece Prevented Planting Guidelines.  Also see my articles on Prevented Planting Row Crop Acres – Which Cover […]

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Some of the water that runs from Terry McClure’s Paulding County farm is captured for tests. ERIC ALBRECHT | DISPATCH PHOTOS Image 2 of 3

“Tracking Phosphorus Fresh from the Farm”

I recently saw a newspaper article “Tracking Phosphorous Fresh from the Farm” written by Spencer Hunt (shunt@dispatch.com) from The Columbus Dispatch Sunday May 26, 2013 9:03 AM and I found it to be a good read.  There are great things going on to help farmers do their best to be good stewards of the land […]

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More rain tonight on already flooded fields create a tough situation for many Midwestern farmers.

Prevented Planting Row Crop Acres – Which Cover Crops Can Help?

The following was originally posted on May 27, 2011 when the Eastern Corn Belt was suffering with severe flooding and wet conditions.  In 2013 the Upper Midwest – especially Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin – is flooded and wet.  Many farmers are considering taking the crop insurance for prevented planting.  Even if it would stop raining […]

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Robison Farms Soil temperatures Spring 2013

Myths Debunked on Cover Crops and Colder Soil Temperatures? – Final Report

Sometimes apparent myths prove to be true and sometimes they prove to be…myths!  In March 2013 I asked my brother Don Robison from Robison Farms to help me figure out how cover crops might effect soil temperatures.  We have looked at data in previous posts trying to answer the question “Do Cover Crops that Survive […]

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Rye Pit

Root Pit Reveals 40″ Cereal Rye Roots

I am blessed to hear from farmers around the world about their cover cropping adventures.  One young man, Brian Scott, from Carroll County, Indiana has generously shared his information with me again this spring.  This post is Brian’s report from early May, 2013.  To see Brian’s photographs, click here. We dug a few pits in […]

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Surprise!  That's what our reaction was to the volunteer annual ryegrass growing in our fields nearly 18 months after they were sown.

Cover Crops: Buy One Year, Get Another Year Free

Almost two years to the day I posted an article about Killing Tall Annual Ryegrass. The problem of a wet and chilly 2011 has resurfaced an ugly head to be a wet and COLD spring of 2013. But over the past week or so temperatures have warmed into the 70’s and 80’s with cover crop […]

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The soil temperature in the long term no-till soils on 4-12-2013.  Note how waterlogged the soil looks.

Part 3- Do Cover Crops Keep the Soil Colder in the Spring?

Fact or Fiction? Cover Crops that Survive the Winter Keep the Soil Colder in the Spring than Fall-Tilled Soil – Part 3 As of today (April 17, 2013) there is 0% corn planted in Iowa and Indiana with 1% in Illinois and Ohio.  It is now wet and cold…not just cold.  As my brother Don […]

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Soil temperature in the Annual Ryegrass cover crop plot 4-5-2013

Part 2- Do Cover Crops Keep the Soil Colder in the Spring?

Fact or Fiction? Cover Crops that Survive the Winter Keep the Soil Colder in the Spring than Fall-Tilled Soil – Part 2 On Friday April 5, 2013 my brother Don recorded the temperatures in soils on our home farm near Greenwood, IN (central Indiana).  The previous week Don took soil temperatures coming out of a […]

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The soil temperature on March 29, 2013 at approximately 4 inches in an annual ryegrass cover crop.

Do Cover Crops Keep the Soil Colder in the Spring?

Fact or Fiction? Cover Crops that Survive the Winter Keep the Soil Colder in the Spring than Fall-Tilled Soil This is a question I get over and over again.  And most of the time it’s not really a question. It’s actually someone stating to me why they are not going to plant cover crops. But […]

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September 5, 2011 planted Annual Ryegrass compared to Winter Cereal Rye in central Iowa in April 2012.  Note the dramatic difference in winterhardiness.

Cover Crops are Working in Iowa

Cover crops are working in Iowa! While that may not mean much to my eastern corn belt friends it means a lot in Iowa and the upper Midwest. Working with Sarah Carlson from Practical Farmers of Iowa and Tom Kaspar from ARS at Ames, Iowa, we’ve been attempting to identify what cover crops will be […]

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