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.