On October 3, six local farmers (Mike Belan, Woody Van Arkel, Mark Richards, Joe & George Dickenson, and Steve Aarts) shared their cover cropping experiences to a crowd of 25 people at Belan Farms, near Oil Springs. They discussed their successes and learning experiences of incorporating cover crops into their corn-soy-wheat rotations, tomatoes, sugar beets, and for feeding livestock.

Each farmer shared how they were trying to build soil health and stability through cover crops and some were finding cost benefits in grazing livestock on the cover crops later into the fall/winter season. Each of the farmers had different preferences for mixes of cover crops that worked for their farming operation but all had the same goal in mind: keeping nutrients on the land.

The Belans highlighted their home-built interseeding unit that is capable of holding enough cover crop seed for about 100 acres. When they apply 28% nitrogen, they interseed by having the seed drop between corn rows. Trailing, offset coulters improve seed to soil contact. The goal is to ensure germination and some growth before the corn
canopy closes.

The event was funded by a TD Friends of the Environment Foundation grant.

October 2018 Tailgate Talk – Interseeding & Grazing Cover Crops
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