Covering Cover Crops

Covering Cover Crops

Sweet Potatoes Make a Surprising Cover Crop

Sweet potatoes are a common vegetable crop but aren’t typically thought of in the cover crop lineup. But this low-lying, drought-resistant crop is recommended by the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as a cover crop.
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5 ‘Laughable’ Reasons for Not Planting Covers

Growing cover crops is not a one-size-fits-all practice. However, the practice does offer numerous benefits to all different types of growers. Here is some food for thought on how cover crops best fit for your operation, according to Keith Berns with Green Cover Seed.
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Cover Crop Profitability Isn’t One-Dimensional

Profitability is what all growers are aiming for, no matter the crop. However, profitability is a term that is relative when it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of using cover crops. Over time, covers are giving more in terms of profitability than can be quantified — through improved soil health, increased water holding capacity, organic matter, earthworm activity, more supportive bacteria in the soil, cooler soil temperatures, and more. How do you put a price tag on some of those intangible, but extremely beneficial, qualities?
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Prepare for Dealing with Hungry Wildlife

The days are getting shorter and cooler, the leaves are starting to turn, the kids are going back to school — fall is definitely in the air. The changing of the seasons means wildlife will be on the move and storing up for winter. There are steps to take to prevent woodland creatures from adding cover crops to the menu and potentially damaging your soil-building investment, experts say.
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Let Cover Crops Do the Work to Keep Weeds Away

We all know that one of the potential benefits of using cover crops is weed suppression, but do you know how cover crops actually provide weed suppression? There are a couple of ways: through blocking sunlight from reaching weed seeds, and also allelopathy, as the cover crop plants produce a chemical that reduces weed seed germination.
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Are You Feeding Your ‘Livestock’?

Earthworms — they are the unsung heroes and unpaid employees on your farm. According to Frank Gibbs, one of the featured speakers at the National Strip-Tillage Conference held earlier this month in Peoria, Ill., worms are always working to enrich your soil.
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Calculating the Value of Cover Crops

Cover crops and other regenerative agriculture practices have been getting a massive amount of attention lately. There have been stories about them in major news outlets like Forbes and the New York Times and politicians have been working these concepts into their speeches and climate platforms, spreading the word about the benefits of keeping the soil covered with diverse living plants.
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When it Comes to Planting Covers, Your Opinion is the Only One That Matters

Last week, I attended the Southern Cover Crops Conference in Alabama. Besides being my first trip to the Heart of Dixie, it was a truly enjoyable opportunity to learn about growing cotton and peanuts, how Southern farmers utilize cover crops to protect their soil and retain moisture, and the challenges that the agriculture industry faces in the region.
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