Kicking off a new project to estimate nutrient cycling from cover crops this spring. Hoping to improve our ability to predict not only the amount of nutrient released but the timing. Collected samples from a diverse set of fields and species in the Northern Piedmont yesterday with the help of Tellus Agronomics.
Presenters at the 2016 Southern SARE Cover Crop conference in North Carolina were asked to prepare informational fact sheets based on there presentation topics. Those have been posted to the Web and many contain great information!
Thought I would share a few cover crop photos taken last week from fields in Western Virginia.
A solid stand of oilseed radish, obviously planted early enough to develop good growth and has not yet succumbed to the cold.
A decent stand of broadcast-seeded small grain and hairy vetch
Late-planted barley that won’t grow much more until spring
Cover crops have many beneficial uses, but different species and mixtures will have particular strengths. For example, if the objective is adding organic matter or providing weed suppression, then cereal rye or similar choices may be best. If providing N for a following crop is the main goal, then an all-legume cover crop such as clover or vetch is probably the correct choice. More information on the potential beneficial uses of cover crops and targeting for specific soil health and agronomic benefits can be found here: