Soil Health

Cover Crops Solve Soil Compaction

Due to the very wet spring in 2019, farmers were forced to work their soil wetter then they prefer to be able to plant their crop. When soils are tilled when wet, soil compaction will occur. When soils are compacted they are less productive and less healthy. Compacted soils have less pore space, and that means that plant roots might not be able to 'breathe,‘ and both root development and nutrient uptake are restricted.
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Growers Trying Out Triple Threat of Cash Crops, Cover Crops & Companion Crops

The use of cover crops within a rotation is commonplace for many producers, given the soil health benefits. Some producers are moving toward utilizing companion crops, planting a cover crop with a cash crop and allowing them to grow simultaneously. For livestock producers, having forage available to graze earlier, can be a benefit itself. Find out more about growing these two types of crops together in this article from The Fence Post.
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Calculating a Good Cover Crop Plan

Cover crops have gained their champions in Manitoba. The practice is cited among other alternative grazing strategies like bale or swath grazing to extend the grazing season and, arguably, improve soil, according to livestock and forage organizations. Find out why growers need more than a cursory plan in this article from Manitoba Cooperator.
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[Video] Growing 365 Days a Year

Jim Hershey farms 500 acres in Southeast Pennsylvania, where he grows corn, wheat, soybeans and barley along with raising organic broiler chickens and hogs. He has been using cover crops for the last three years.
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Rejuvenate Fields by Tapping Power of Sunlight

As soybeans started to blossom in Andy Lacey’s field west of Trent, another plant was in full bloom, sprouting clusters of white within the rows of beans. The white were the flowers of buckwheat — one of three cover crop species Lacey planted a week after his soybeans this spring. Find out how Lacey captures sunlight in this article from Tri-State Neighbor.
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The Facts on Nitrogen Release Using Cover Crops in the Dakotas

There's this idea floating around that cover crops will take up nitrogen this growing season and then release that nitrogen for next year's crop. Add on top of that, an ability to anticipate when that nitrogen will be released by selecting specific cover crops in a mix (this is the C:N ratio stuff you hear about). Find out more in this article from AgWeek by Abbey Wick, North Dakota State University Extension Soil Health Specialist.
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Cover Crops Strategies Podcast

[Podcast] Cover Crop Lessons Learned in Hungary

Hungary is the destination for this week’s podcast, as Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff shares his observations from visiting the country for their first-ever soil health conference. Hungarian growers are just becoming more interested in cover crops and no-till, despite the fact that they plow up to 90% of their land.
Hungary is the destination for this week’s podcast, as Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff shares his observations from visiting the country for their first-ever soil health conference. Hungarian growers are just becoming more interested in cover crops and no-till, despite the fact that they plow up to 90% of their land. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
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[Video] Cover Crops in Every Rotation

At Frog Song Organics in North Central Florida, John Bitter grows a little bit of everything, upwards of 80 crops in a year. Figuring out his rotations is the key to success as an organic farmer, and cover crops are an integral part of every rotation.
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Cover Crop Strategies to Improve Nitrogen Cycling in Corn

Balancing the supply and demand of nitrogen (N) in crop production is challenging. In most cases, application of N fertilizer is needed to ensure that adequate N is available to corn. Nitrogen that is not taken up by plants can be lost from cropping systems as nitrate through leaching or runoff, according to this article from the University of Minnesota Extension.
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Attend the 2020 National Strip-Tillage Conference

Join the most innovative, forward-thinking strip-till farmers, agronomists and researchers today at the 7th annual National Strip-Tillage Conference in Omaha, Neb., August 6-7, 2020. Discover practical cover cropping techniques and hundreds of proven ideas to boost your strip-till yields and save on input costs.

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