Mustard as a Cover Crop

If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!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: […]

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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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NWF

Cover Crop Champions Wanted

National Wildlife Federation has extended the deadline for submitting applications for farmer cover crops champions and outreach cover crop champions – local and regional cover crop leaders who can provide region-specific information and farming knowledge to farmers and crop advisors. Selected applicants will receive benefits in the form of financial support for time and travel, […]

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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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Should farmers be penalized in a wet and cold year for growing a cover crop instead of having a field of winter annual weeds?  Common sense says that a cover crop is better for agriculture than weeds.

Cover Crops and Crop Insurance – Spring Reminders

UPDATE FROM RMA–Haying and Grazing of a Cover Crop – FINAL – 5-8-13 Cover Crops and Crop Insurance on Collision Course again? Cover Crops and Crop Insurance issues seem to be heading to a collision course again this spring in much of the Midwest.  In the Corn Belt wet fields have prevented planting with less […]

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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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