COVER CROPS DON’T NEED TO BE FANCY??
What is the function of a cover crop?
To cover the ground, reducing
2. Weed growth
Retain moisture and nutrients for the following crop So, all hail the winter cereal cover crop, by accident admittedly (too many grass weeds) but effective none the less and not too expensive, certainly effective and as it turns out a good start for some spring oats. The Ma/Ag drill sows spring oats into winter barley sprayed off a few days earlier, simple and relatively cheap way to establish a crop and save the season with effective weed control thanks to low disturbance. If the intention to purely use the winter cereal as a cover crop then untreated farm saved seed would have given a cheaper and still effective option. Not the answer for everything but worth a thought and certainly focus the mind on what we are trying to achieve?
Last autumn, we drilled some winter Oats at 110kg/ha which we thought was a bit low, but were assured that drilled early they would tiller and fill out. This was the field after drilling into a mulched cover crop on the 30th August 18, and as a picture paints a 1000 words (and is much easier than writing !)