Cover Cropping: Getting Started IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS WHEN CHOOSING COVER CROPS 1. Start small to build your knowledge before scaling up. 2. Start with the basics. Cereal rye establishes well in late summer and early fall, is winter hardy, and is easier to terminate in the spring than legumes. 3. Determine which outcomes most interest you (e.g. erosion control, reduction of offsite movement of nutrients, grazing, etc) to decide which cover-cropping system fits your needs. 4. Have a plan. For example, if cover crops are seeded into soybeans, and they are winter hardy, what is the plan for planting corn not only in high-residue, but also void of fall tillage? (Strip-tillage is a viable option for many corn and soybean growers.) 5. Check herbicide rotational restrictions. 6. Contact your insurance provider before proceeding with your cover crop plan. 7. Pick a uniform spot in your field and plant with and without cover crops. Keep everything else constant. With yield monitors, and adequate replication, you can assess if cover crops are a good fit for your farm. 8. Be prepared to move quickly in the spring: overwintering cover crops can add biomass quickly. 9. Call us with questions! 800-352-5247
COVER CROP SEEDING 1. Ensure good seed-to-soil contact, proper seeding depth, and adequate soil preparation. 2. If possible, time cover crop seeding with forecasted rain. 3. If using cover crops for forage, increase seeding rates by 50%. 4. If broadcasting or aerial seeding cover crops, increase seeding rates by 25%-30%. 5. Some crops, like cover crop radish, can be precision planted on rows, lowering overall seeding rates.
Browse our cover crop seed products for 2018.