Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall Planting-Cover Crop

The Concord Drill is working again. We have been seeding cover crop. 
The barley straw that was dropped has been baled and moved to the side of the field.  
The cover crop is up and growing. 
We planted a mix of field peas, turnips, and radishes. 
In the past we have planted flax as well as vegetable combinations as cover crops. 
The cover crops are not expected to ripen and produce a crop. We expect them to freeze.
They are planted to increase organic matter in our fields. The roots help hold the soil in place through the winter and the frozen growth above ground catches snow.
This year our radish is a Tillage Radish that drills its root deep into the soil. It fights compaction and weed growth. There is lots of information on the link, so check it out by clicking on the registered name.  
The radishes or peas would not be tender and tasty in a salad. They are tough and developed to withstand light frost even in early stages. The turnips and radishes grow down into the soil and bring deep nutrients up near the surface where they are available to our crop next season.
 But we did find last season that the turnips were tasty and the cattle enjoyed a late Fall treat of green nutrition as explained in Cover Crop Delicious.
As always, Farmer Fred is excited about the possibilities.
As the sun goes down earlier each day in GriggsDakota.

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