Jump to content
IGNORED

Some Cover Crop Information


Recommended Posts

For the past two years I have been involved in administering a grant promoting the use of multi-species cover crop mixtures.  I thought I would share some of what I learned in case in would be useful to someone here.   The goal was to provide a free sample of the NRCS  multi-species mixture to interested farmers in the Pinelands portions of Burlington and Camden Counties.  There was about $40,000.00 in funding and this paid to seed about 550 acres with the cover crop seed mixture and in some cases paid to have it flown onto the fields.  For the purposes of the grant we mimicked the USDA- NRCS program, but someone not wanting to be involved with NRCS would still benefit both as a cover crop and for game.  The mixture we applied was comprised of cereal rye (46 lb), annual rye (9 lbs), crimson clover (8 lbs), red clover (2 lbs) and tillage radish (4lbs).  This mixture was applied at about 69 pounds per acre.  I purchased the seed from the farmer's usual provider and I found it cost anywhere between $.80 per pound and $.61 per pound.  This came to $55 and $42 in seed cost per acre respectively.  Just for the reference the NRCS program pays about $76.00 per acre flat fee for this program.  NRCS requires this type seeding to be performed before September 15th so we had to fly the seed onto some standing crops of soybean and corn to provide a good sample.  I had never seen seeding by airplane before so that was interesting too.  Flight costs were about $25 acre with a minimum of 10 acres.  I attached a some photos of Fall growth and some this Spring before the cover crop was terminated and couple other Fall photos.   I don't understand all of the benefits, but mixtures like this are supposed to reduce soil compaction, reduce topsoil loss through erosion, suppress weeds and increase organic material.  In following up with the farmers involved I was told that fertilizer costs also dropped. 

 

IMG_30492.jpg

IMG_33432.jpg

IMG_29492.jpg

IMG_33542.jpg

IMG_30712.jpg

IMG_29482.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I sit on the NRCS State Technical Committee and we have been struggling with the current seeding dates for NJ. They are too soon for most farmers to qualify for funding. If I weren’t up in NY fishing I would elaborate more, but it’s a great way to conserve soils.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will you be coming to the meeting in Hammonton? Yes the date makes it especially difficult for the soybean growers using the radish. That’s why we specifically wanted to demonstrate flying the seed on.  It costs more, but we were still able to match the NRCS rate.  The farmers I worked really seemed to enjoy having a cup of coffee while 50 acres were seeded too.  Good luck fishing!

Edited by Pucknut
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I plant pretty much everything you planted and also mix in turnips. I start with soybeans for the summer , I use round up ready beans so I can keep the fields clean during the summer. Late August I walk the bean field and surface broadcast the turnips and radishes. Labor day the rye and clover gets broadcast into all the bare spots. Sometimes I will broadcast more rye (sometimes wheat and oats too) in October. 

The beans and clover add nitrogen to the soil. The rye has deep tap roots and mines nutrients deep within the soil which is returned to the soil when it is terminated. Rye also suppresses weeds. 

The turnips and radishes produce good top growth and big tubers in the ground. As the tubers rot, they put organic material into the soil. In the winter, water enter the holes left behind by the rotting tubers.  The water expands and contracts as the ground freezes and thaws and busts up the soil. I repeat this every year. I use no fertilizer at all. My soil has gone from a clay red color to a blackish brown color. I always try to have something in my field as it helps hold the soil together and from washing away. 20151129_133155.thumb.jpg.41750111d7864c3cff05ed1b61034970.jpg20170101_150549.thumb.jpg.bb9560ef9396b0727e4a22bb47e34cd3.jpg

Edited by tcook8296

www.liftxrentals.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Pucknut said:

Will you be coming to the meeting in Hammonton? Yes the date makes it especially difficult for the soybean growers using the radish. That’s why we specifically wanted to demonstrate flying the seed on.  It costs more, but we were still able to match the NRCS rate.  The farmers I worked really seemed to enjoy having a cup of coffee while 50 acres were seeded too.  Good luck fishing!

That's going to be a game day decision depending on workload.   Hammonton is a haul for me.  Where can I get a good Taylor Ham egg and cheese sammich down there?  :rofl:

I take it you will be there?  If so, I'll let you know Tuesday if I'm going to make it or not.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...