Category Archives: Soil Quality

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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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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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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Soil Health Partnership Grows From a Desire to Thrive – Biologically and Economically!

The National Corngrowers Association started the Midwest Soil Health Partnership three years ago. Here’s what they say about the novel effort, supported at the beginning by Monsanto, The Walton Family Foundation and with technical support from The Nature Conservancy. Among its staff is … Continue reading

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Illinois Makes Strides in Conservation Tillage and Cover Crops

The American Farmland Trust says this about the Midwest’s heritage in agriculture: With flat prairies, plentiful water, and rich, deep soils, the Midwest is one of the most intensely farmed regions in the world. We depend on it for many … Continue reading

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Kentucky Researchers Praise Annual Ryegrass

Annual Ryegrass Dispatches with Fragipan Problems, They Say. Midwest  farmers who have been working with annual ryegrass for some years as a cover crop know that annual ryegrass busts up fragipan (and other soil compactions). They have probably seen for … Continue reading

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New Annual Ryegrass Management Guide for 2016

Click here for the new “Quick Guide” for managing Annual Ryegrass as a cover crop. In addition to new tips for seeding, the guide also outlines an emerging problem for managing cover crops in the Midwest. Many farmers use residual … Continue reading

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Herbicide Carryover in Cover Crops – New Free Guides

In the past couple of years, there has been increasing concern about the impact of residual herbicides in the field hampering or killing cover crops, including annual ryegrass. Mike Plumer, a pioneer in the cover crop renaissance in the Midwest, … Continue reading

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