Cover Crops

Uncover the latest information on different species of cover crops and their benefits; tips on the equipment used to seed them; and how strip-tillers are using covers on their farm operation to improve their strip-till systems.

ARTICLES

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Strip-Till Conversation

Making the Organic Transition: Consider Rotation & Cover Crop Options

Two strip-tillers talk through the rationale and rewards of adding organic acres to a diverse farm operation.
Organic farming operations are gaining traction as growers explore the economic opportunity in making the transition. Strip-tiller and no-tiller Loran Steinlage, owner of FLOLO Farms in West Union, Iowa, recently sat down with Angela Knuth, who manages Knuth Farms in Mead, Neb.
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Seeding Strategies, Species Selection Shape Strip-Tillers’ Cover Crop Choices

Growers strip-tilling and seeding cover crops tend to prefer multi-species mixes with cereal rye being the most popular variety.
Strip-tillers are innovative and push the envelope by nature. That’s just how they are wired. Growers who use strip-till and also plant cover crops take that drive to the next level, as we discovered in the first-annual Cover Crop Strategies Cover Crop Benchmark Study.
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[Podcast] Connecting the Conservation Tillage Dots: From Reducing Compaction to Smoking Soil

In this episode of the <em>Strip-Till Farmer</em> podcast, brought to you by Agrisolutions, we get some expert insight into how strip-tillers can protect their soil health by limiting equipment traffic and promoting biological activity underneath the surface.
In this episode of the Strip-Till Farmer podcast, brought to you by Agrisolutions, we get some expert insight into how strip-tillers can protect their soil health by limiting equipment traffic and promoting biological activity underneath the surface.
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More Land Required to Produce Cover Crop Seed

The growth in cover cropping may soon hit a ceiling: planting millions of acres of cover crops will require huge extensions of land to produce cover crop seed. Between 3 and 6% of the 92 million acres of cropping land currently used for corn in the U.S. may be required to produce cover crop seed for that land area. Read more in this article from Seed World.
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Most Cover Crops Seeded in Fall, Winter

The first annual Cover Crop Strategies Cover Crop Benchmark Study also finds 80% of growers prefer drills to seed cover crops.
Once harvest is completed in the fall, many growers want to take a big sigh of relief—that year’s cropping season is finished. But for those who want to take advantage of cover crops, wrapping up harvest means it’s time to dust off the drill.
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PRODUCTS

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Structuring a Strip-Till Fertility Program: Lessons Learned & Goals Achieved - Donn Branton - NSTC 2016 - MP3 Download

$19.95

Constantly evaluating the form, rates and placement of nutrients can make the difference between profitability and not farming at all. This is a philosophy that strip-tiller Donn Branton and his son, Chad, subscribe to on their 1,500-acre operation in LeRoy, N.Y., since adopting the strip-tillage more than 12 years ago. Deep placement of fertilizer, multiple nitrogen applications and nutrient management trials have contributed to a 40-bushelper-acre boost in some corn fields. “Every decision we make on the farm is an investment,” Branton says. “We’ve stuck with strip-till, cover crops and other practices because they improve our soil, yields, the environment and our bottom line.” Branton will share results of on-farm nutrient management experimentation and detail his strategies for improving your yields and soil health with a conservation-minded fertility program.

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Building Soil Health & Structure with a Bio Strip-Till System - Dustin Mulock - NSTC 2016 - MP3 Download

$19.95

For the last 10 years, Woodville, Ont., strip-tiller Dustin Mulock has been building and refining a combination no-till/strip-till system. Integrating different pieces of equipment, fertility methods and cover crops put him on a productive path to bio strip-till. This approach complements his twin-row, strip-till setup for corn and soybeans and has helped increase yields by 25%, while also naturally building nutrient levels in his mostly sandy loam soil. Mulock will detail the development and results of his bio strip-till system, to include fertilizer application equipment modifications and experimentation with more than a dozen different cover crop species.

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Putting Together a Practical Game Plan for Adding Cover Crops in Strip-Till - Trent Sanderson - NSTC 2016 - MP3 Download

$19.95

Incorporating cover crops in strip-till is an increasingly popular part of a comprehensive system. But selecting the most beneficial varieties or mixes along with the most practical seeding methods can be a challenge. Clare, Ill., strip-tiller Trent Sanderson has utilized cover crops for several years on his family’s 2,000-acre operation, and recently started his own cover-crop seed dealership. He will discuss the soil and nutrient retention benefits of his experimentation with cover cropping methods in strip-till to include interseeding cereal rye with a homemade machine.

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Stacking Up Nutrient Stewardship Benefits with Strip-Till - David Myerholtz - NSTC 2016 - MP3 Download

$19.95

Farming in an area that drains directly into the Western Lake Erie Basin, Gibsonburg, Ohio, striptiller David Myerholtz intensively manages nutrient application on his 1,500-acre corn, soybean and wheat operation. With an emphasis on the 4Rs of nutrient management, he’s adapted cover crops, split nitrogen applications and variable-rate fertilizing to reduce erosion and runoff. Myerholtz will share his experience and evolution with developing a comprehensive fertility program based on the four cornerstones of nutrient management in strip-till.

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Creating a Biological Architecture for Strip-Till Success - Tim Smith - NSTC 2016 - MP3 Download

$19.95

Building a sustainable strip-till system and strengthening soil structure are cornerstones of Tim Smith’s corn and soybean operation in Eagle Grove, Iowa. A commitment to the NRCS’s Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI) has helped Smith limit erosion, reduce fertilizer application costs and increase equipment and fuel efficiency. “The biggest return with strip-till is greatly reduced soil loss,” he says. “My soil holds up better in adverse conditions by having more residue on top to preserve structure.” Smith will share how the addition of cover crops, refinements to his nutrient management practices and the introduction of a bioreactor have contributed to a comprehensive strip-tilling strategy.

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NSTC Speaker Presentations

Choosing & Implementing the Right Cover Crops for a Strip-Till System - Joel Gruver - NSTC 2015 - MP3 Download

$19.95

Since 2007, Dr. Joel Gruver has been a professor of Soil Science and Sustainable Agriculture in the School of Agriculture at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill. He’s conducted intense research tied to cover crop usage in conservation-tillage systems and organic grain production. Gruver will focus on the integration of cover crops within strip-tillage systems and explore key opportunities and challenges based on recent research results and the experiences of innovative farmers using both strip-till and cover crops. He will also discuss the impact of cover crops on nutrient availability and soil moisture dynamics within strip-tillage systems and also consider the compatibility of cover crops with current strip-till technology and potential new technologies.

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2014 Speaker Presentations

Examining Various Cover-Cropping Methods With Strip-Till - Kelly Cooper - NSTC 2014 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

Kelly Cooper will share the cover-cropping experiences of strip-tillers within the Conservation Cropping System Project. The project manager from Forman, N.D., will share a number of practices, including both traditional cover cropping and a form of biological strip-till where radishes and peas are planted in 30-inch rows to create a natural strip to plant into in an effort to reduce in-row erosion. View

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