Tag Archives | cover crops

Cover Crop Radishes and Turnips…what are their differences?

The cover crop radishes and forage turnips that I accidentally planted in my wife’s wildflower garden just over 4 weeks ago lets me make some observations about the differences between the radish and turnip roots.  The radishes have a fairly “hairless” root that has very quickly reached 7 ” deep.  On the other hand, the […]

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Cover Crop Radishes – differences in varieties

On May 29th I planted 6 different cover crop radish varieties in a plot.  In those 16 days we’ve had good moisture, and I did apply some 30-0-5 fertilizer around 60 days ago (with slow release N).  I had to thin the plots to have 1 radish per 4″ (recommended distance between radishes by those […]

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Austrian Winter Peas

Austrian Winter Peas

Austrian Winter Peas are a good cover crop for producing nitrogen. These peas have better cold tolerance than Canadian Field Peas yet still grow well when planted after wheat or other summer annuals. It’s preferred to plant them in August after the hottest days are normally past. Below I list the advantages and disadvantages of […]

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Cover Crop Selection – What to plant after wheat or other cereal grains?

I was in a meeting yesterday and the gentlemen from SWCD asked me: “What should we recommend for our producers to plant as a cover crop after the wheat comes off?” After running through a number of scenarios I determined that I’d better make sure I don’t confuse folks with too many ideas.  So, here […]

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Cover Crop Radishes – What they do

Cover crop radishes are “all the buzz” these days in the cover crop world.  Cover crop radishes should have fairly large tubers that penetrate the soil and add many benefits.  The main benefits are that they enhance percolation and aeration.  Additionally they provide food for earthworms like few other cover crops.  It is quite common […]

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Earthworms…valuable resource on farm ground

Earthworms are exceptionally valuable builders of  healthy, fertile topsoil.  Jill Clapperton stated that a good sign of a healthy topsoil was that a “shovel-full of soil” should have 8 earthworms in it.  In my  field diggings I have found anywhere from ZERO to 10 erathworms per shovel-full.  I found 10 in crimson clover, 8 in […]

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When to aerial apply cover crops into corn

A few years back many said “August 15-25” was the right date to aerial seed cover crops into corn.  However, we found out very quickly that “dates” cannot be set…but timing can be.  While we know that August 15-25 often can be correct, we also know that following the calendar (like in the 2009 crop) […]

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Cover Crop Seeding rates DO matter

As an agronomist I try real hard to recommend the correct seeding rates.  For instance the “recommended” seeing rate on radishes has been 10-12#/acre but in reality only 3-5#/acre does a lot of good in mixes and 10-12 is WAY too thick (and expensive).   Annual Ryegrass rates for cover crops is 1/2 that for forage. […]

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