Author Archives: Tim Buckley

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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Managing Annual Ryegrass as a Cover Crop

This past winter, annual ryegrass hardly went into dormancy….it was that mild. Of course, the value to the soil is multiplied in years like this, when ryegrass roots extend to depths of four or five feet. Soon, it will be … Continue reading

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Commodity Prices Tied to Cover Crop Usage?

Corn prices having fallen from $8/bu to about $3.50 has impacted farmers use of cover crops, at least some of them, according to Nick Bowers, a grass seed grower in Oregon (http://kbseedsolutions.com/) Those new to cover crops are the ones … Continue reading

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Indiana Roots with Annual Ryegrass Cover Crops

Soil and Water  Conservation Districts are getting more and more involved in the promotion of cover crops. The reason is simple: over the past 20 years, it has been shown that cover crops protect the soil in ways that no-till … Continue reading

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