One of the most common challenges no-tillers encounter with cover crops is at the very start — getting them seeded.
In the 2014-15 Cover Crop Survey conducted by Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education, cover crop establishment was the No. 1 challenge reported among 2,814 cover crop users, at 21%. Time and labor required for seeding and managing the cover crop came in third at 18%.
Those two challenges were also the top two reasons among nearly 700 survey takers for not using cover crops.
In some areas of the U.S., particularly in northern states, there may not be enough time to get cover crops seeded after harvest — especially if a no-tiller is hoping to achieve decent cover crop growth before winter.
Aerial seeding via an airplane or helicopter is an option, but establishment can be spotty.
Depending on a no-tiller’s goals, climate, row widths, cover crop species and even herbicide programs, interseeding covers — the practice of seeding them with a drill, spinner spreader, toolbar or sprayer into…