Rolling down cereal rye this morning after no-till planting soybeans. We are using what equipment we had already on the farm here, and only using the roller on the rear of the implement. The rye is pollinating, which is a great time to roll it down, killing it. This cover crop has helped soak up the excess rainfall this spring, but also kept the moisture in place for the soybeans. Not to mention prevented soil erosion from heavy rains. Also, the rye will help prevent weeds from germinating. Compared to other places we no-tilled soybeans with no cereal rye cover crop, this was the best planting conditions we have had all spring. You can bet we will be doing more of this next year!
Dan is admiring the cover crop stand this morning he seeded into corn back in June. After the above average corn crop was harvested, these cover crops continue to flourish recycling nutrients, retaining soil and water from runoff, build organic matter, feed the microbial life in the soil and even grow some nitrogen! All of which the following corn crop will benefit from as well.
The cover crops we seeded last fall (after harvest) are coming in nicely this spring! The idea behind these cover crops is to keep plants growing in the soil year-round; to keep the soil alive, if you will. Growing cover crops provides food to bugs and microbes in the soil to keep them working year-round. This will, in turn, help up to build up the organic matter in our soil. More organic matter means less synthetic fertilizers that we will need to apply to our fields. This is a boost to the environment as well as our input cost on the farm.