Question: What do you consider must-haves for cover crop blends?

Rick Bieber always shared a chart that shows your cool-season broadleaves, your warm-season broadleaves, your cool-season grasses, your warm-season grasses. You want a fraction of all them, but you want opposite to support your cash crop. A little bit of everything helps, so I never got stuck on exact seeding rates. When you're talking 250,000 seeds per pound, that goes along way. I think the number we used to go pretty hard by is 144 per square foot. If we have more than that, and it's good viable seed, that can be overkill. And not all of them are going to survive, so some of that you got to factor into your seed plan.

Editor's Note: Loran Steinlage addresses more cover crop questions in this Ask the Operator webinar.

“Ask the Operator” allows farmers like yourself to ask questions of our 2023 Conservation Ag Operator Fellow, Loran Steinlage. The West Union, Iowa, no-tiller makes an ongoing commitment to innovating on his own farm and going above and beyond to share his no-till knowledge with others. Read through past information in our content archive and submit your own questions for our Fellow to answer. Click here if you are having trouble viewing the question submission form.