No-Till Roundtable: What has turned out to be your best cover crop seeding method to date, and why?

A: I think drilling might be the best way. But we went to seeding with a 45-foot Phillips harrow with a Valmar air seeder mounted to it. This allows me to cover a lot of ground in a short period of time, as seeding cover crops successfully is all about timing. Plus, there isn’t as much wear and tear as on a grain drill. 

We can usually run about 10 mph with the harrow. I strictly no-till, so sometimes if it’s dry we might have to run back over a second time to get good soil-to-seed contact. We sometimes use it putting in our winter wheat when it’s a little too wet for the grain drill. It’s a great machine. 

— Bruce Price, Little Rock, S.C.

A: I think it’s a tie between drilling and broadcasting. Drilling works well as long as the ground is fit. But broadcasting can be done anytime, especially on corn stalks. Last fall I drilled 20 acres of rye after soybeans in mid-October and it was up an inch or two through the winter. 

In another 20-acre field after corn was taken off, I broadcasted cereal rye in the first part of November. There wasn’t much growth above ground, but by May both fields were about the same in height. Broadcasting is faster too, but you just don’t get the seed-to-soil contact until after a decent rain.

— Victor Geise, Somerville, Ohio

A: We have a 1,400-cow dairy in upstate New York. We use small…

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