Put a pre-harvest shine on the combine…check. Prep on-farm grain handling and dryer system…check. Finish your game plan for planting cover crops…What? As the last days of summer dwindle it’s a great time to think about seeding cover crops, according to Lisa Kubik, Soil Health Partnership Field Manager from Iowa.
Kubik says what type of cover crop seed you should use depends on your goals. If your goal is to graze cattle on the cover to extend your grazing days, the seed you choose will be different than if you want to increase the weed control in next year’s crop.
Some cover crops are great at taking up excess nutrients that may be found in the field and others are great at breaking up heavily compacted areas of a field. These goals, as well as other factors, will help to determine the best species, or species mix, to use on your farm.
When choosing the variety of cover crops to plant, there are many ways to get started. Whether you want your cover crop to live through the winter, kill after a frost, or grow the most biomass in the summer are several ways to look at it. This is determined by your ideal planting time and goals for the crop. If you want more information to jump start your thought process or develop the best seed shopping list you can get a jump start from Kubik on the SHP web site.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.
The Corn Utilization and Technology Conference (CUTC) is a biennial event happening this June. Learn more.