Today we’re talking with Jeff Schluckbier, who grows corn, sugar beets and wheat in Tuscola County, Mich. Jeff uses sunflowers, radish, clover, oats, cereal rye and Austrian winter peas. He says cover crops are paying off big time in his 7,500-acre operation, especially during heavy rainfall events. 

“In Michigan, we tend to not get nice, gentle rains anymore. We get these angry rains and thunderstorms. Years ago, I can remember a couple fields in the area here after a 2–3-inch rain, you’d have water sitting everywhere for the better part of the afternoon. Now after these 2–3-inch rains, the water’s gone in a half hour. I think over the years our cover cropping, whether it’s the radishes or sunflowers or clover, it’s making our ground looser and helping handle the big rains we get throughout the growing season.”