Albert Lea Seed - Celebrating 90 Years in the Seed Business

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Monday-Friday: 8am-5pm
Saturday: 8am-4pm

Biomass

Cover crops are an essential component of building healthy soils on the farm. Non-legume biomass/weed suppression cover crops can protect soil from erosion, contribute to organic matter formation, reduce weed pressure, and break recurring pest and disease cycles. Biomass/Green Manure cover crops do not fix nitrogen but are an essential part of a diverse crop rotation.

Tillage Radish®


  • Improved oilseed radish bred specifically for long taproot
  • Taproot improves soil tilth and loosens clays & hardpans
  • Tillage Radish is an excellent N scavenger
  • Will winterkill ; residues will break down completely following winter
  • Very competitive with weeds
  • Plant 6-10 weeks before a killing frost in the fall
  • Excellent fit after small grains, silage corn, early soybeans or vegetables
  • Seed 8-10 lbs/acre

Dwarf Essex Rape

  • Succulent, leafy brassica excellent for hog, sheep & young stock grazing
  • Persists well after the first frost
  • May be seeded any time from early spring until August
  • Should be ready to pasture in 6 to 8 weeks
  • Keep it cut or grazed down so it doesn’t get tall and woody
  • To fatten hogs, additional grain is usually needed
  • Seed 4-8 lbs/acre, ¼ to ½ inch deep

Buckwheat

  • Broadleaved summer annual 
  • Fast establishment, thrives in poor soils
  • An excellent weed suppressor & soil builder
  • Can produce 2-3 tons of dry matter in 6-8 weeks
  • Not frost tolerant
  • Avoid overly droughty soils
  • Attracts beneficial insects and pollinators
  • Seed 45-100 lbs/acre

Winter Rye

  • The most winter-hardy fall-planted grain
  • Thrives on all soil types including sandy & shallow soils
  • Provides excellent weed competition and lots of biomass for green manure
  • Will germinate down to 35°F
  • Very good scavenger of N & other nutrients
  • Excellent feed value as cut forage or single season grazing
  • Great fit for a cover crop after small grains, corn silage, corn and soybeans
  • Seed 50-100 lbs/acre

Medium Brand Oats

  • Economical, fast growing and competitive spring grain
  • Widely adapted to most soil types
  • Quick biomass accumulation
  • Oats use excess nutrients that would otherwise leach from soils
  • Fibrous root system aids in building soil
  • Easy to control by mechanical methods
  • Excellent fit into any crop rotation
  • Seed 2-3 bushels/acre straight (64-96 lbs)

Annual/Italian Ryegrass

  • Annual, moderate height forage grass that is an excellent cover crop species
  • Fast establishing; good cold tolerance
  • Fibrous root system good for enhancing soil structure and building soil quality
  • Good alternate use as forage grass and/or cover crop for alfalfa plantings
  • Annual ryegrass will head out in seeding year ; ensure control before seed set
  • Italian ryegrass will not head out 
  • Seed 5-15 lbs/acre ; use lower seeding rate if seeding alfalfa

Sorghum-Sudangrass

  • Vigorous, leafy and rapid growing summer annual grass
  • Cross between Sorghum & Sudangrass
  • Abundant, tall growth (10-12' tall given adequate moisture)
  • Thrives in heat
  • Excellent competitor with perennial & annual weeds
  • Good alternate use as forage; superior tonnage
  • Seed after danger of last frost
  • Seed 25-35 lbs/acre

Phacelia*

  • Non-leguminous, annual broadleaf plant 
  • Excellent cold & drought tolerance (better than Buckwheat)
  • Widely used as cover crop & bee forage in Europe
  • Produces abundant biomass & conditions soil, leaving excellent structure & aggregation
  • Utilizes excess N in the soil to prevent leaching
  • Will winterkill in the upper-Midwest
  • Seed must be planted; avoid broadcasting
  • Drill 7-12 lbs/acre at 1/8 to ¼ in. depth

Kodiak Mustard -New!

  • Certified variety of non-GMO Brown Mustard specifically bred for cover cropping
  • Excellent biomass production & rapid early growth
  • Good competitive ability with weeds
  • Very high level of plant glucosinolates that can suppress pathogenic soil fungi, nematodes, and other insects
  • It is recommended to chop or mow the mustard down prior to incorporation to maximize suppressive effects
  • Excellent before soybeans or after small grains & silage corn
  • Do not allow plant to go to seed ;
  • It is recommended to allow 2 to 3 weeks to pass between incorporating the mustard & planting your cash crop
  • Frost seed March-April and/or seed August-September 1 for fall incorporation
  • Seed 15-20 lbs/acre ; 1/2 to 1 in deep

Purple Top Turnips

  • Excellent use for fall cover cropping
  • Fast establishment and good biomass production
  • Purplish white tankard roots grow ½ out of the ground 
  • Will winterkill in the upper-Midwest
  • Good option for low fertility or even sandy soils
  • Seed 5-6 lbs/acre, ¼ to ½ inch deep