Category Archives: Soil Quality

Below the Surface with Annual Ryegrass Cover Crops

Having planted your cover crop…yeah, those of you lucky enough to have gotten to it with a late harvest and wet conditions…you might be wondering what’s going on below that snow right now. Well, for starters, what’s not happening above … Continue reading

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Annual Ryegrass: Part of New Adaptive Management Strategy

Adaptive management. Fancy title, basically meaning “be on top of developing situations in your fields and be  ready for a Plan B”. Many farmers already fit that definition to a TEE. When it comes to growing successful cover crops, however, … Continue reading

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Annual Ryegrass in a Cover Crop Mix with Rapeseed

Ron Althof is an agronomist and cover crop seed specialist working out of Effingham, Illinois. In a recent conversation, he talked about the value of cover crop mixes. And while some “cocktail” mixes can contain more than a dozen different … Continue reading

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Annual Ryegrass Videos – Basics and Advanced Information

Perhaps you’ve already seen these dozen videos about annual ryegrass, both about how to plant and manage it, but also the benefits of having a cover crop on your soil. Click here if you want to review them…the link here … Continue reading

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1st Year Cover Cropper Doubles Down on Annual Ryegrass

The advice about using cover crops for the first time is almost written in stone: “Start with a small parcel.” John Werries, a third generation farmer from Chapin, Illinois, had a few things going for him that allowed him to … Continue reading

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Annual Ryegrass and Cover Crops – No “Bad” Years

Last winter’s cover crop season was disappointing, said Nick Bowers, a pioneer in the cover cropping revolution and a partner in the Oregon-based KB Seed Solutions. Even though newer varieties of annual ryegrass are hardier in tough weather, the winter … Continue reading

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Seeding Annual Ryegrass in Manure Slurry

Tim Harrigan, University of Michigan associate professor and agronomist, has developed farm equipment to deliver cover crop seed as part of a tank of manure slurry. Livestock farmers have excess manure; planting a cover crop creates the perfect way to … Continue reading

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Annual Ryegrass – When to Plant and How Much is Enough?

If you use a no-till drill to plant annual ryegrass, you get better seed to soil contact, but the timing becomes crucial because of crop harvest variability. In the past few years, corn and bean harvests have been later and, … Continue reading

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Annual Ryegrass Roots…”Go Dig!”

“My cover crop wasn’t green this spring!” Don Wirth’s answer to what sounded to him like a complaint was, “Go dig!” His point: when annual ryegrass is established in the fall, it quickly sends roots down below a foot, even … Continue reading

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Late Spring Planting

Late Spring Crop Planting A wet spring and late planting aren’t necessarily a cause for gloomy predictions in the Midwest, according to Dan Towery. “Last year, the corn and beans were planted even later than this year, and there was … Continue reading

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