Posts Tagged ‘cover crops’

West Cover Crops

On the next Sunday, we drove to check the cover crops in the west field.  An extra week of sunshine & rain had really added to this field!

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The Farmer digs up the plants for a closer inspection.  (Really, this makes me crazy… as I want him to just leave them be so they can grow!)




Across the field, you can see the exact rows where the hauling tank puts in the extra fertilizer.  The radishes just crave that and grow extra big there.


It all looks luscious!


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The Farmer plants cover crops into his wheat ground after the wheat is combined the end of July.

This year he planted both fields a mix of 4 different cover crops.  He has found a huge benefit to planting cover crops as they gather nitrogen from the soil, plant residue, and manure incorporated into the field and hold it for next year’s crops.  The benefits have added to our crop yields up to 2 years later as shown by our yield monitor maps over the years.

This year he used his seeder on the Salford for planting.   He seeded in a blend of oats, radishes (a type for cover crops, not as a food product), crimson clover, and red clover in what I’ll refer to the west field on August 11.  On August 14, he seeded the south field with a blend of radish, clover, turnips, and oats.  He used a purchased blend this year from a new supplier in one field and blended his own mix in the other field.  (He won’t pay the blending fee next year.)

We didn’t get any rain on them until August 23.  It was a dry August!

On Sept 7, we walked to check on the south field and it was coming along well.  Three and a half weeks since seeding.





And since we walked where Nina likes to run, she enjoyed our company but still was King of the Mountain!



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On plot days, a team comes to help with the harvest.  Each variety is weight and many calculations are made for each variety.  I usually send over snacks and cold drinks.  A few kinds of bar cookies went this time.


Combine, weigh wagons, hauling wagons, and lots of little white trucks!


Each fall it is interesting to watch each variety dry to a different shade of tan.  God’s beautiful handiwork!




Finished with this field.  On the bright green hill ahead are the varieties of cover crops.  So nice to see the bright green when the other crops are drying down and there are brown fields everywhere.

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This year the company that hosted our corn, soybean, and cover crops plots hosted a tour with dinner as well.  Phil had a lot of work getting the fields ready (and just having a plot is more work than one’s normal field) but he enjoys this so much.  The company brought in the canopy tents, did the advertising, and brought the food!



Brand and variety signs along the corn.

P1010620Proud parents enjoy the party.

P1010619Huge cooker for boneless pork chop sandwiches.

P1010625Corn anyone?  Bright & golden down the straight rows.


Soybeans and corn.

P1010655Soybean plot.

P1010648Cover crop plot.   (we really had hoped for rain before the plot to help these fledglings along.  In the end, they did well.)


Our cover crops are planted into the ground where we had harvested wheat in July and we let the straw stubble (after baling) remain.  It all provides nutrients to the soil.


P1010633The chief.

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Beginning Cover Crops

Phil put out a cover crop plot this year.  He did last year just for fun but this one has backing and is part of a plot tour this fall.  Rain would really help at this point.  On Friday night we had a storm go through and netted 3/10ths of an inch of rain and hail.  Not sure how these little guys faired.

These photos are from the last week of August.  All are planted into where the wheat was harvested in July so that is the golden stubble you see.


Australian Winter Peas


Australian Winter Peas


Our long dark shadows


Hairy Vetch


Red or Crimson Clover (I can’t remember)







Cereal Rye


I thought I’d get a view of our place from the west…. guess the trees are too big!


Actually regular soybeans. They won’t produce a crop but still add nutrients and just having something green helps the biological life in the soil.

With kudos to my SL friends, there is a sample of Sunn Hemp out there someplace!  😉  Not in a photo up-close though.

Phil has 10 different cover crops in the plot.  Some are single samples and some are mixtures such as rye & radishes together.   The plot postcard (5×7) for our corn, soybean, and new cover crop advertisement came out last week.  Sorta cool!!  The front has his name spelled correctly for the address; wrong for his plot.  :\    I know you know where to come and whom to contact if you are interested.

plot invite

B&B not included in invite.  😉

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