Cover Crops

Cover Crops

Uncover the latest information on different species of cover crops and their benefits; tips on the equipment used to seed them; and how no-tillers are using covers on their farm operation to improve their no-till systems.

ARTICLES

Cover Crops Can Boost Beneficial Insects

An expert on pest management programs from the University of Nebraska explores how cover crops can be successfully integrated to help control pests in cropping systems.

Your farm's integrated pest management program (IPM) might include a variety of pest control tactics. Cover crops can be a valuable addition to an IPM as a sustainable, long-term practice, according to Justin McMechan.


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Going From Bull-Headed to Bullish on No-Till

After years of conventional farming, this Randolph, Wis., grower has transitioned his 2,500-acre operation to no-till, cover crops and planting green. And he’s having a blast

Change can be difficult, especially if you’re bull-headed. Just ask Dale Macheel, who says he tends to be stubborn, just like most farmers. But it can also be fun, he says, a mindset he’s embraced while adopting conservation practices on his 2,500-acre cash grain operation in Randolph, Wis.


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7 Strategies for Reducing Slug and Vole Problems

No-tillers can battle these two pests with scouting, sound planting practices, strategic cover crop management, the right field equipment and some help from predators.

While there are many benefits to long-term no-till and cover cropping, unfortunately, it is also a very stable environment for slugs and voles. 


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What I've Learned from No-Tilling: Carbon is King — and Rising Fast — with Constant Cropping

Josh Lloyd grows crops year-round to capture carbon and build topsoil that will return yields despite lower inputs.

Everyone makes a big deal out of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), but to me, carbon is the key to a profitable and sustainable farm.


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Hitting Pay Dirt by Boosting Soil Biology

South Dakota growers implement regenerative principles on every acre to improve soil health, reduce inputs and gain control of livestock feeding options.

In the pursuit of higher soil organic matter levels in their soils, Barry and Eli Little, a father-and-son team farming in Castlewood, S.D., are aggressively adopting regenerative practices.


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IMAGE GALLERIES

Keeping Busy with Cover Crops

Attica, Ind., no-tiller Dan DeSutter is always looking for ways to improve his cover-crop system. We visited him in the spring of 2016 when he was rolling/crimping his cover crops and planting soybeans.

To learn about DeSutter's operation, check out the What I've Learned from No-Tilling article: Rejuvenating Acres and Ramping Up Soil Productivity.

PRODUCTS

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The Secrets of Soil Biology: How to Make it the Engine for a More Profitable No-Till Operation

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$15.95
Don't miss out on the next no-till breakthrough to help you push yields and profits! This timely and actionable report will lead you through new developments in soil biology. You'll learn the key players that make up your soil 'livestock,' the link between crop rotation and improved soil function and new soil tests that can shine a light on what's happening below the soil surface. View
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Covering Up, Part 3: Branching Out With Your Cover Crop Program

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$15.95
Looking to go from a single species to a cover crop cocktail, or to drastically reduce your fertilizer bill, or to extend the life – and benefits – of your covers by planting into them? Check out these success stories, learning experiences and new ideas to help you achieve your next cover-crop goal with No-Till Farmer’s third installment on cover crops. View
NNTC16 Audio Presentations

Watching Out for Herbicide Carryover in Your Early Seeded Cover Crops - Bryan Young - NNTC 2016 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

The increased application of herbicides with soil residual activity in corn and soybean production has complicated fall establishment of cover crops. Initially, the concern focused on the emergence and early vigor of cover crop stands, but has more recently been implicated by some individuals as contributing to a decrease in winter survival. As farmers explore methods for seeding cover crops even earlier in the fall or possibly inter-seeded with corn, the issue of herbicide carryover becomes an even more critical issue, says Bryan Young. The Purdue University weed scientist shares how we can make educated estimates of which herbicide and cover-crop combinations may be the most detrimental, but trial and error will prove to be the only reliable method of gaining local experience that directly relates to your farm operation.

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NNTC16 Audio Presentations

Maximizing Your Cover Crop Investment for Better No-Till Health and Profits - Darin Williams - NNTC 2016 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

Increased water infiltration, less erosion, cleaner water and improved overall health of cash crops are just a few benefits Darin Williams has witnessed since adding cover crops to his 2,000-acre no-till operation in east central Kansas. Williams discusses these benefits and several more, including how cover crops have reduced his weed population and chemical inputs and allowed his non-GMO crops to do just as well as GMOs. He also shares how adding livestock to the operation has maximized his investment in cover crops, as well as his experience in marketing cover crop seed to seed companies.

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NNTC16 Audio Presentations

Plant Green into Cover Crops This Spring - Jim Hershey - NNTC 2016 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

Jim Hershey challenges you to consider planting before you terminate your high-value cover crop in the spring. The Elizabethtown, Pa., no-tiller and president of the Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance has been practicing the “planting green” system on his corn, soybean, wheat and livestock operation using multispecies cover crops with great success. Hershey shares his experiences with this system and how it’s reduced his slug pressure to nothing. He also talks about the cover crop interseeder that was built on his farm and what he’s seen from it.

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NNTC16 Audio Presentations

Integrating a Diverse Rotation, Cover Crops and Livestock Into Your No-Till System - Darin Williams - NNTC 2016 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

Darin Williams wishes he had known about no-till and grazing cover crops when he decided to go into home building after college because he didn’t think he’d make it as a farmer in his community. But since he took up farming in 2010, Williams has been able to grow his no-till operation to 2,000 acres of non-GMO corn, soybeans, wheat, rye, triticale, winter barley and milo, and grazes his cattle herd on cover crops to maximize their investment. Williams also has a flock of sheep and recently added poultry. Considering organic matter to be king on his farm, the Waverly, Kan., no-tiller discusses the components that make up his no-till system, including why he tries to direct-market everything produced to consumers and how he marketed his grain for premiums in 2015.

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NNTC 2015 Speaker Presentation

Why No-Tilling ‘Green’ Isn’t Something To Be Afraid Of - Triosi and Criswell - NNTC 2015 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

Lucas Criswell and Gerard Troisi are convinced that corn and soybeans can be no-tilled into mature cover crops for higher yields and increased soil health, even while reducing fertilizer and herbicide applications.

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NNTC 2015 Speaker Presentation

Cover Crop Know-How From 30 Years — What’s Coming In The Next 30 Years - Steve Groff - NNTC 2015 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

Steve Groff has more than 30 years experience covering fields on his no-till farm in southern Pennsylvania. He’ll share his best tips for making cover crops more practical on your farm, including ways to get them planted in a timely manner, how they interact with nutrients in your soils, rotational decisions and other key discoveries through proven, field-tested practices and onfarm research.

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NNTC 2015 Speaker Presentation

Effects of Cover Crops, No-tillage & Tillage on SOC Sequestration, Storage, Retention & Loss - Kenneth Olson - NNTC 2015 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

Ken Olson will share results of a 12-year cover crops study in southern Illinois on the effects of soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration, storage and retention, as well as corn and soybean yields. The use of cover crops was studied on these previously eroded soils for its maintenance and restoration of SOC, and different tillage systems were set up with and without cover crops.

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NNTC 2015 Speaker Presentation

Improving Soil Structure, Reducing Compaction Naturally Within No-Till - Jim Hoorman - NNTC 2015 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

Long-term studies show soil compaction reduces yields by 30%. Jim Hoorman says poor soil structure and compaction are common, especially where conventional tillage has been used extensively, but even no-tillers often see little improvement or slow gains in soil structure.

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EVENTS

Custom Field Groups

SE Minnesota Self-Guided Cover Crop Tour

4/1/21
Several locations in Southeastern Minnesota
Contact: Lance Klessig
Visit 7 farms with 9 sites from April to July 2021 to see various ways southeastern Minnesota farmers are successfully growing cover crops. Read More

DOCUMENTS AND FILES

Pluses and Minuses of Cover Crops

Now is the time to choose the right cover crop species to improve YOUR no-till operation. “The Pluses and Minuses of Today’s Most Popular Cover Crops” report reveals how you can pick and utilize the cover crop species that are perfect for your farm, and it’s FREE!

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