By Randy Lopau, Certified Crop Advisor
Depending on your location and terrain, you may have some fields where our excessive rainfall and cool conditions this spring have left some potholes unplanted. As those areas dry out, what’s the best approach to take with those acres? Cover crops might be the answer you’re looking for.
Let’s consider the main alternative—bare soil. Those areas will likely require a higher level of weed control to keep them from becoming reservoirs of weed seed for this season and the next crop years. Without a competing crop, weeds can quickly gain the upper hand. Also, when these spots finally dry out, the surface becomes hard, crusted and prone to further erosion by water or wind. Soil organic matter declines and nutrients can be lost through leaching, even on fields not subject to water erosion.
A cover crop can accomplish several positive goals on these unplanted areas. They can:
Not sure what cover crops might be the best fit for you? We can help. We’re very familiar with the cover crops that work well in our area, on your soil and with your particular rotation.
One final note: You should always check with the FSA and your crop insurance agent about harvest, haying and grazing restrictions for cover crops.
Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now