Category Archives: General Information

How to Pull Nitrogen into Corn with Annual Ryegrass

One of the dozen benefits from planting a cover crop like annual ryegrass is to sequester, or uptake, available nitrogen (N) in the soil. This is accomplished mostly by reducing the amount of N that leaches out of the field … Continue reading

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Erosion Control – Listen to Cover Crop Innovator Steve Groff

It’s hard to believe that no-till and cover crops are still a strange concept to farmers, even after all the positive news there has been about it. Even after 30 years of increased popularity, less than 10 percent of Midwest … Continue reading

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Ryegrass, Good for a Climate Goin’ Through Some Changes

Science tends to win out over guesswork. Few would disavow centuries of medical experience in favor of hocus-pocus and suspicions. Similarly, those with decades of working the soil tend to heed the sciences pertinent to agriculture, rather than winging it … Continue reading

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What if ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ also Refers to Your Soil?

As human beings, we tend to think narrowly about what, in the book of Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” He went on to say that, besides the first commandment (to love God), loving … Continue reading

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Giving Thanks

Pete Seeger, in the 1950s, adapted a verse from the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes (3:1-8) and the song reached #1 on the Billboard chart of American hits in mid 1960s. It starts: To every thing there is a season, … Continue reading

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Grass Roots are Important – Whether in Politics or in Cover Crops

This recent election proved again why “grass roots” are important. More than colorful flyers and 30-second ads can ever do, grass roots is where democracy started, and continues to start each election cycle. The more money being thrown at negative … Continue reading

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Recalling a Man Who Put Annual Ryegrass on the Cover Crop Map

  Mike Plumer was a guy who made sure he knew what he was talking about before he’d open his mouth. He didn’t tout his academic degrees or his professional experience as much as giving you the benefit of his … Continue reading

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Nitrogen and Carbon – Two More Benefits of Annual Ryegrass

In the last blog post, we addressed the myth of annual ryegrass being hard to manage. Follow good control procedures and it is not an issue whatsoever. Two other assets of annual ryegrass: it creates a savings in expenditures for … Continue reading

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The Myth of Annual Ryegrass as a Cover Crop

They say, “It’s hard to control annual ryegrass”. As myths go, it’s tame. They used to say that “stepping on a crack would break your grandma’s back.” They used to think that spiders were bad luck. For 20 years now, … Continue reading

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National Effort to Expand Use of Cover Crops

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research launched a national effort to expand use of cover crops. Called the Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms initiative, the group includes the USDA as well. It is a collaborative, multi-partner research effort to improve soil health in the … Continue reading

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