Archive | Types of Cover Crops RSS feed for this section
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 […]

Read full story · Comments { 8 }
Sudangrass can get quite tall and yield a plenty if managed well.

Summer Annual Grasses for Cover Crops for Prevented Planting Acres

With an abundance of prevented planting acres in Wisconsin and Minnesota in 2013, there is a need for cover crops to help build soil during the soil’s “idle” time.  In this post I’ll mainly focus on summer annual grasses that work well in the Midwest. These recommendations will focus on whether feed is needed or […]

Read full story · Comments { 2 }

Mustard as a Cover Crop

This article was originally posted on December 14, 2010. Benefits of Mustard Mustards are a good cover crop for a variety of reasons. One of the main benefits is that they have high levels of  glucosinolates.  According to Cornell University: The practice of using mustard cover crops to manage soil-borne pathogens is known as biofumigation. […]

Read full story · Comments { 7 }
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 […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }
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 […]

Read full story · Comments { 2 }
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 […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }
Corn growing in Kura Clover in Arlington, Wisconsin

Kura Clover – The Perennial Cover Crop

Kura Clover is an interesting option for cover cropping no-till corn producers. Why? Because Kura Clover forms a “living mulch.” I have been working with Dr. Ken Albrecht from the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Kura Clover since the summer of 2000.  During that summer as I traveled through eastern Iowa and NW Illinois I envisioned […]

Read full story · Comments { 4 }
2012 Noble County Test Plots Peas and Radish

Cover Crops in Noble County, Indiana

State and local Soil and Water Conservation Districts have been a wonderful partner over the past 4 years in helping to educate farmers about the value of cover crops in their local area.  Over the past four years Indiana SWCDs have planted or overseen over 300 cover crop test plots.  Recently the Noble County (Indiana) […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }
These three brassica types were collected from a Loundonville, OH farm in the fall. Pasja Hybrid Brassica (L); GroundHog Cover Crop Radish (C); and Appin Turnip (R). Note the difference in tops versus tubers.

Cover Crop Turnips – A Good Choice Over Radishes?

Cover Crop Radishes or Turnips as a Cover Crop – or Both? Cover crop radishes certainly receive a lot of press. I have researched them quite a bit over the past four years. On this blog alone I have over 20 posts about radishes. They are fun to take photos of, dig around in, research, […]

Read full story · Comments { 30 }
Cattle grazing Forager Mix

Grazing Cover Crops

In early December, 2011 I visited two farms in Kosciusko County Indiana (NE IN) where producers had intentionally planted cover crops after their wheat was harvested for the purpose of grazing cattle and improving soil.  One of the producers planted a mixture that was featured in this blog.  His Oats/Cereal Rye/Turnip mixture looked beautiful and […]

Read full story · Comments { 2 }