Don't Forget the Cover Crops!
This is a common problem in any area where winter can come suddenly but achieving maximum growth from cover crops is important. Here is what Sjoerd Duiker a Soil Management Specialist from Pennsylvania says about cover crops in a recent field crops newsletter:
"Why is this important? Cover crop biomass accumulation and root growth depend on when the cover crop is established. This determines how much cover the cover crop provides and this is important for erosion control, especially when establishing a cover crop in a tilled seedbed, or with no-till in low residue situations (e.g. after corn silage, after soybeans, or when corn fodder is removed). Early establishment is also important so that the cover crop can absorb soil nitrate before it leaches to groundwater. In a study in the Mid-Atlantic region cover crop nitrogen accumulation was about 120 lbs N/A in December when rye was established early, but was negligible in December if the cover crop was established late. The nitrogen that is absorbed by the cover crop is protected against leaching and is released next year when the cover crop biomass decomposes."
So it pays to have the spreader or the drill ready to go with cover crop
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