Author Archives: Tim Buckley

Old Ways Fade as Cover Crops Gain Favor

Iowa isn’t known as an early adopter with cover crops. But according to an article in Farm Journal recently, more than half of the acres in production in that state are leased. So, while farmers themselves may choose to do … Continue reading

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Mike Plumer – Granddaddy of Modern-day Cover Crop Advocacy

Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, before we had met Mike Plumer, he already had more than a decade of advocacy and research into no-till farming and cover crops, especially annual ryegrass. At the time, Mike was an … Continue reading

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Farmers, Environmental Organizations and the Feds Chorus the Benefits of Cover Crops

What doesn’t stay on farmlands can easily end up in nearby waterways and in the air we breathe.   Cover crops like annual ryegrass have become friends of the environment. Imagine living in an era when farmers and environmental advocates … Continue reading

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Feed the World? Feed the Soil First

The American Dust Bowl was a reminder about taking care of the soil. Yet here we are only 75 years beyond that deadly scourge and we find that the soil is still taken for granted. Cover crops are an inexpensive … Continue reading

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Aerial Seeding Annual Ryegrass

Planting annual ryegrass or other cover crops in the fall is tricky. Weather determines when the harvest arrives. If the ground is wet, the harvest can be delayed. If winter arrives early, there may not be enough time to plant … Continue reading

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Interseeding Webinar – Seeding Annual Ryegrass and other Cover Crops in the Spring

This spring, the University of Pennsylvania conduced a webinar on the subject of interseeding. As you may have read here in past blog posts, interseeding is done in the late spring, when corn and beans are sufficiently established (v 6 … Continue reading

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Cover Crops Benefit Soil Microbiology, including Fungus

Soil is alive…literally…and it hosts hundreds of thousands of different¬†living organisms: insects,worms, microorganisms, bacteria, etc. Tilling in the old fashioned way strips life from the soil. Cover crops restore soil health and these different life forms are part of that … Continue reading

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Planting Annual Ryegrass as a SPRING Cover Crop

It may have begun in Canada, the practice of planting annual ryegrass as a cover crop into knee-high corn. Based on the pioneering work of cover crop innovators like¬†Daniel Briere, an agronomist with Plant Production Quebec, hundreds of northern Corn … Continue reading

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Finding Good Annual Ryegrass Seed for Cover Crops

In a mild winter, even the old standby varieties of annual ryegrass will make it through to spring in the Midwest. But in a harsh winter, those same varieties of annual ryegrass will die in the severe weather, freezing and … Continue reading

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Kill it Good…Annual Ryegrass is Your Friend until it Isn’t

Farmers have been successfully controlling annual ryegrass, as a cover crop in the Midwest, for more than 20 years. If somebody tells you “it’s a weed,” tell them politely, “Yes, I know, and it’s possible to control it if you … Continue reading

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