No-Till Living Legend and 2024 Conservation Ag Operator Fellow Ray McCormick is reaping some big-time benefits from cover crops on his southern Indiana farm, especially in a wet spring.

Check out this video from one of his fields. Just 1 day after a 5-inch rainfall, it looks like there’s no water on the surface. You’re looking at a mix of balansa clover, crimson clover and annual ryegrass, which Ray says thrives in wet conditions like this.

“If this was cereal rye, you would’ve probably struggled to get a stand in such wet soils, but annual ryegrass loves it. And what it also loves to do is go down about 4 foot-plus into the soil, making channels for the corn roots, making channels for where the water can get out of the soil, and bringing up nutrients. We did some biomass removal recently. Incredibly there was 650 pounds of potash, of potassium per acre in our biomass removal. We’re bringing a lot of nutrients up from way down there and making fields like this that everybody says, ‘They’ve got great soils, and it won’t work on my soils.’ These are the soils you’d think it would be the hardest to do, and cover crops really help you.”  

McCormick is back in the field this week replanting after that rainstorm and a tornado that came through a week and a half ago. The tornado took out trees on his farm and blocked roads to his fields, but he’s been able to get back out there this week.

Watch the full version of this episode of Conservation Ag Update.