In early October, 2020, no-tiller Don Ready of Kimberley, Ontario, sent these photos showing the effects of his clover cover crop, which he calls a fantastic soil saver.

“We’ve had a wet 2 weeks here in Grey County. We just had 2 drying days followed by 1/4 inch of rain overnight. The photos show the results,” he says.

This tile draining a field of clover on Don Ready's farm in Kimberley, Ontario shows how well the clover is handling the moisture from a long rainy period. This particular drain is almost dry.
Another tile line from the same field has some water coming out but it's clear, leaving the soil and nutrients where they belong — in the field.

“The tile drains draining from the field of clover are almost dry and the water is clear. Moisture, nutrients, and soil stay where they should — in the field. The muddy tile drain is from my soybeans. You can see in the creek where the water enters it after traveling through a 30-meter buffer zone.”

A drain tile coming out of Don Ready's soybean field is muddy after a quarter-inch of rain fell after a two-week wet period.
After running through a 30-meter buffer zone, water from the soybean field is still cloudy when it reaches the creek.

Ready says for him, these results are more than enough reason to plant clover.

“Add in the almost zero planting cost (with barley, oats, or spring wheat), the good results with no-till,  the low cost ($12/acre at 6 lb.), the vigor and winter hardiness, nitrogen credits, and the amazing effects on soil structure, and you have a great cover crop,” he explains.

“I took over a very tired no-till field that would break into large clods when planting. After 16 months in clover, the soil breaks into ‘apple crisp crumble.’ The soybeans in it now are fantastic.”

As they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words.