Posted 10/16/2020 10:21 (#8548660 - in reply to #8548631) Subject: RE: A few cover crop pics also
I’ve planted a mix on a 5-10 acre field of small grains for the cattle to graze for decades. So I have seed and am familiar with turnips.
This only for cover crop/ soil building/ not taking the green regrowth is a three year experiment, I really don’t know what I’m doing, or why, but it’s interesting and appears I’m staying in the black with it on owned ground.
I plant -everything- in early spring there is no summer or early fall seeding pass; that doesn’t work with radish. They bolt and go to seed if you plant them that early, and you get no bulb and a modest tap root. They would not suck up the hog manure They go to seed instead. (I know, I did that. Once. Actually ended up with a lot of radish seed in my harvested oats. That was investing.....) turnips are happy as a companion plant planted with the oats, they grow small and slowly until I swath the oats, enough survive the manure application and boy they take right off when the nutrients kick in! We all were surprised how well the clover, alfalfa, and turnips survive the manure application, I know the coulters are closer to a vertical till than a disking, but still all the weight of the tractor and tanker and the cutting of the blades the field can look pretty black after application. But those plants all come back real well.
I have a pretty good deal with the manure, the neighbor is so happy to get some applied earlier in the fall when there is free time and it is drier and makes a little room in his pits when things might get tight some years. But of course I am losing nitrogen with an early application. I’m hoping these covers will use and recycle the N back to me, or at least return some organic matter and long term soil health if not the actual N. And, hopefully the govt feels we are doing something and doesn’t get mad at us for releasing N into the world unabated. That is why I take the pics and check things out and it’s nice to see the little strip that didn’t get the manure, it shows my covers really are sucking things up.
I think. But I really don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t recommend any of this, basically I enjoy planting a cover crop with my Couple acres of small grains, and I stumbled into some hog manure one year, we all felt bad because we assumed it would wreck my existing cover crop, and it’s actually turned out to look like a system I planed and worked real hard to make work. No, this is all dumb luck.
As cover crops get popular, but they are so very difficult to work into a cold short summer climate like I am in, maybe someone smart can get some ideas from my dumb luck and actually come up with a real plan. Many are trying to fly on covers into corn and beans, but they just stay so small and freeze out right away. My stuff gets pretty big on the right year. Maybe someone sees an in between thing, if my dumb luck sparks an idea.