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Cover Crops and Conservation Tillage

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Cover Crops and Conservation Tillage

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  1. Cover CropsandConservation Tillage Steve Groff Holtwood, PA www.cedarmeadowfarm.com

  2. PermanentCover Cropping System • Cover Crops • Crop rotation • Permanent mulch cover Enhancing the Environment

  3. Permanent Cover Cropping System • Increased profits • Clean water • Healthy soil • Reduced pesticides • Less soil erosion

  4. Why No Till? Why Cover Crops?

  5. “Soil is meant to be covered” -Steve Groff

  6. What can Cover Crops do for you? Manage your water table Soil Armor-protection from rain, sun, and wind Green Tillage- using plants to prepare the soil for seeding

  7. Cover Crop Management Ideas Plant Cover Crops for Erosion Control

  8. Grand Canyon

  9. Cover Crop Mixtures • Diversity • Biomass • Root growth • Guard against failure of one species • Complementary

  10. Cover Crop Cocktails • Above ground diversity is a mirror of below ground diversity • Microorganisms are like cattle- they need a balanced diet

  11. Cover Crop Cocktail $20.00 per acre

  12. Cover Crop Biology • C/N ratio • Insect changes • Planting dates • Challenges

  13. Hairy Vetch 20-25lbs per acre

  14. Rye 2 bushel per acre

  15. 60 lbs rye 20 lbs hairy vetch

  16. Soil Health

  17. Soil is meant to have something living in it at all times

  18. Organic matter 2.7% 1984 5.4% 2007

  19. Cover Crop Biology • There is a time to kill • Biological pumping: roots bringing up nutrients • If you built habitat, they will come- earthworms

  20. 34 earthworms in a square yard

  21. Equipment • Planter • Drill • Rolling Stalk Chopper

  22. Rolling Cover Crops There is a time to Kill

  23. No N Applied

  24. Soil test

  25. Manure Management

  26. On Time • As soon after harvest as possible • Priority • Plan