As we rapidly approach the harvest season, cover crops are front and center of possible winter soil building for next years crops.
Nutrient retention throughout the fall and winter months is the hallmark of fields utilizing cover crops, along with providing organic matter and erosion control.
Your management goals will play an important role in helping you decide which cover crop to use and how you manage it. For example:
• Grasses utilize more soil nitrogen.
• Legumes use both nitrogen and phosphorus.
• Deep rooted species provide maximum nutrient recovery.
• Species like rye will produce high volumes of organic matter if allowed to grow longer in the spring.
• To maximize weed suppression, leave cover crop residues on the soil surface to maximize allopathic (chemical) and mulching (physical) effects.
• Select species (i.e. oilseed, radish) that have a large tap root to help alleviate compaction problems.
Because each cover crop performs differently you may want to consider mixtures of two or more species.
Muscatine Ag is actively working with growers to provide specialized cover crop seeds and applications!
If you are considering making cover crops part of your agronomy program, stop in or call us and let us assist you with the identifying of the right Cover Crop seed combination.
Want your Cover Crop custom applied? Give us a call!!
Posted on August 10, 2016
by Tami Sawvell