Cover Crops

Organic farmers and entities like us are reiterating the importance of cover crops. These are specific which can protect the soil, add nutrients, prevent weed growth, aerate the soil with deep root systems, and fertilise the soil by building organic matter when plowed under. Cover crops conserve and trap the moisture, they are a rich ground for microflora and fauna. Earthworms and other beneficial soil organisms when they thrive in the soil, arrest the growth and prevent problematic bacteria, fungi, nematodes, diseases and insects from proliferating.
Weed control, nutrient management and six more perks of planting cover crops.

Cover crops provide numerous benefits for the soil, including reduced erosion, improved ability to hold water and greater organic matter. But some soybean farmers still aren’t sure whether they’ll return the investment. According to Keith Berns, Ray Gaesser and Steve Groff who grow soybeans in Nebraska, Iowa and Pennsylvania, respectively, they pay in more ways than one.
  • One way to convert cover crops into dollars is through animals. Berns says cover crops planted late in the summer can provide grazing ground for cattle all winter long.
  • Cover crops keep costly nutrients from escaping into the water. “We paid for them; we need to stop the leaks and keep them in our field where they belong,” says Groff. In fact, the earlier you plant the cover crop, the more nutrients it will absorb. So that plant can pull deep-lying nutrients closer to the surface, where cash crops can use them.
  • Additionally, cover crops in general make potassium and phosphorus more available, cover crops in the legume family produce nitrogen for subsequent crops to use.
  • Cover crops make a crop rotation more diverse. That leads to more diversity of insects, most of which are beneficial for production, such as pollinators and predatory insects that feed on insect pests. For every one harmful insect for agriculture, there are 1,700 beneficial bugs.
  • Cover crops are all about conservation and sustainability, which helps farmers meet customer demand.
  • One of the things cover crops can do is provide excellent weed suppression, especially on those tough winter annuals.
  • Cover crops come in handy during weather catastrophes. For example, when hail destroys a field and it can’t use all the nutrients you applied, his farm have proven that cover crops improve yield during drought years.