Cover Crops

A Tale of Two Rye Plantings

by Margaret Smith, PhD ∙ Agronomist Tips for Rolling and Crimping Winter Rye before Organic Soybeans Decisions for Less-than-Ideal Conditions Two neighbors in north-central Iowa are fairly new to organic farming and both experimenting with winter rye as a mulch cover for their transitional and organic soybeans. Both of their fields were planted last fall […]

June 9, 2020 | Categories: , , , Read More >>

Nine Things That Can Go Wrong with Cover Crops: Prevention and Management

By Matt Leavitt, Organic Lead and Agronomist, and Margaret Smith, PhD, Agronomist Research and practical on-farm experience demonstrate that cover crops work for nearly all farm systems. They improve soil health, soil productivity, water quality, and long-term environmental health; however, any new management practice brings learning opportunities and unintended consequences – and cover crops are […]

June 2, 2020 | Categories: , Read More >>

Interseeding Cover Crops into Early-Season Corn

by Margaret Smith • Forage Agronomist & Bairet Eiter • Cover Crops Lead Interest in seeding a range of cover crop species into corn early in the growing season is increasing among both conventional and organic farmers. Why plant cover crops early rather that into maturing corn or after corn harvest? Bigger window (more growing season) […]

March 3, 2020 | Categories: , Read More >>

Seed Options for Prevented Planting 2019

by Margaret Smith, PhD Forage Agronomist Prevented Planting Requirements Prevented planting is no one’s top choice, but due to frequent and sometimes heavy rains this spring, but it may be your best option. Guidelines for prevented planting acres are to ‘control weeds’ meaning if weeds aren’t controlled, weed seeds will be ‘the gift that keeps […]

May 29, 2019 | Categories: , , Read More >>

Cover Crop Usage Exploding in U.S.

The USDA released its Census of Agriculture, and within that data, the results showed a jaw-dropping 67 percent increase in the use of cover crops by U.S. farmers from 2012 to 2017. Across all U.S. states, farmers reported planting 15.4 million acres of cover crops in 2017 compared to 10.2 million acres in 2012. Also of […]

April 29, 2019 | Categories: , Read More >>