Category Archives: Soil Quality

Earth Day – A Tribute to No Till and Cover Crops

Perhaps the hoopla about climate change and global warming is yielding some new converts to no-till and cover cropping. Not to say whether “man caused” or “cyclical trends” is the primary factor for the increased severe weather in the Midwest. … Continue reading

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Exceeding with Interseeding

When you think about planting this spring, consider whether you might want to include annual ryegrass seed in the mix. More producers are adding an annual ryegrass seeding in late spring, planted between rows after corn has reached mid calf … Continue reading

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Once The Floods Recede!

Geez, Louise! Another crappy winter leading into a way too damn damp Spring! When the water recedes, many conventional tillers will be faced with another plague: erosion. All the damage – washouts, drain tiles plugged, and the value of land … Continue reading

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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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Cover Crops Bolster the Health of Mycorrhizal Networks – and Why That’s a Good Thing!

The term mycorrhizae refers to fungi present in the soil and the positive influence it has on the root system of host plants nearby, aiding both to the health of soil biology and soil chemistry. These fungi enhance the uptake … 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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