BEGINNER’S LUCK. Jim Hershey’s first year of interseeding in June yielded the best results he’s seen so far. This mix of crimson clover, annual ryegrass and radish that were interseeded around June 5 shows the fall growth Hershey is hoping to achieve consistently.

Experiments with ‘Extreme Biomass’ Provide Soil and Water Protections

Pennsylvania no-tiller Jim Hershey shares his thoughts on maximizing cover crop benefits by interseeding and delaying termination.

The following article is based on Jim Hershey's presentation at the 2019 National No-Tillage Conference. To watch other presentations from the event, click here.

Lancaster County, located about 90 minutes west of Philadelphia, is the largest livestock-producing county in Pennsylvania. It’s also the county with the most impaired streams, making it a major contributor of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay.

This has put farmers in the county, including Elizabethtown no-tiller Jim Hershey, under the gun for reducing nitrogen (N) inputs to limit nutrient runoff. Which is a challenge, given the amount of rainfall they receive. In 2018, Hershey’s 650-acre farm received around 75 inches of rain. A normal year is around 42 inches.

“I don’t care how good a job you do, how good a job I do — we’re going to have some runoff,” he told the audience at the 2019 National No-Tillage Conference in Indianapolis. “But I think we can limit the amount of topsoil and the amount of nutrients that are leaving our farm by including practices that keep our soils covered year-round.”

For Hershey, this means getting cover crops seeded earlier with interseeding, and letting them grow longer by planting green.

Early Interseeding 

Hershey first looked into interseeding around 8 years ago when the only units available were those that blew seed down through the corn at tassel time in August. He first hired someone to seed covers with a highboy seeder, but had poor results, likely because of the limited moisture they had during…

To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all No-Till Farmer content and archives online. Learn more about the different versions and what is included.

Laura allen

Laura Barrera

Laura Barrera is the former managing editor of No-Till Farmer and Conservation Tillage Guide magazines. Prior to joining No-Till Farmer, she served as an assistant editor for a greenhouse publication. Barrera holds a B.A. in magazine journalism from Ball State University.

Top Articles

Current Issue


No-Till Farmer

Get full access NOW to the most comprehensive, powerful and easy-to-use online resource for no-tillage practices. Just one good idea will pay for your subscription hundreds of times over.

Subscribe Now

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings