Time to Think Harvest and Cover Crops

September 20, 2019

Time to Think Harvest and Cover Crops

Sep 20, 2019

Author: Mark Lambert

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.