What can you tell me about overseeding forage radish into
We’re looking for winter cover crops that can suck
up soil fertility left after the growing season, hold soil
to prevent winter erosion and suppress weeds to allow no-till
planting in the spring. Steve Groff has done lots of work
with forage radish at his farm in Lancaster County (www.cedarmeadowfarm.com)
and we want to see what happens up here. We’re using
his seed this year.
Overseeding on August 22, before soybean leaves fall, gave
us good seed-soil contact after the first rain. Any leaves
that fall will help to mulch the young seedlings, which are
about 6 inches long by now. Our beans our still growing, so
we’ll see how the radish plants fare through the field
traffic of harvest.
Implement-wise, out set-up is an older spray rig redeemed
for cover-crop seeding use. Shortly after the Hagie 8540 (www.hagie.com)
was introduced, it became mandatory for spray applicators
to be housed in cabs if the chemical release zone was in front
of the units. These “high-boy” type units are
available for a good price used, and are perfect for running
our Herd Sure-Feed Broadcaster (Model I-92) www.herdseeder.com/i92.php.
An electric motor with a rheostat controls the speed of the
seeder’s broadcasting spinner (determining how far the
seed goes), while the seeder’s gate opening varies to
control the rate of the seed flow (determining how much seed
is being broadcast). These two variables are balanced with
tractor speed to determine how much seed goes on per acre.
We put in a portion of our seed and do a test pass, then
check to see if the amount of seed applied on the plot is
giving about the rate we want to end up with.