Q&A

DEAR NEW FARM:

What would be a good cover crop to use after conventional corn? I am starting the transition to organic and will be planting vegetables next year, but would like to sow something beneficial this fall. Thanks.

Jenny Rocco
Ohio

 

DEAR JENNY:

After harvesting a heavy nitrogen feeder like corn, it’s good to sow a legume cover crop (e.g. clover, alfalfa or hairy vetch), since they fix atmospheric nitrogen in the soil, thus replenishing what the corn has depleted. Also, make sure to use seed that comes from your latitude or farther north, since you want it to overwinter. For more information, check out this article on New Farm by Managing Editor Greg Bowman, Cover-cropping guru Steve Groff champions fall-planted forage radish mixes to renovate field lanes, this one by Ed Bialon, Cover crops offer benefits from fertility to weed management, and this three-part series on crop rotations by Organic Inspector Jim Riddle, Planning the perfect rotation: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

NF

 

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