Cover Crops

Some think that cover crops are just something you plant to cover the field for the winter. But cover crops are much more than that, giving your fields a jolt of something life-sustaining. Planting a cover crop creates a reserve of nutrients that becomes available to feed your crops like an intravenous (IV) supply of life-promoting nutrients to your plants. When you plant a cover crop, its roots continue to feed soil microbes that build soil nutrient reserves. Not only can cover crops serve as forage for grazing livestock, but they can also scavenge and store the equivilent of hundreds of pounds of nitrogen. This stored nitrogen becomes a consistent supply to your new spring crop. Plus, when the cover crop dies back, their roots and green plant matter are digested by microbes and become organic matter that is loaded with plant-available nutrients for your crop. 

 

Winning the race

Think about people who run marathons. They have friends and family that stand along the sidelines of the race with bottles of "good stuff" like electrolytes and mineral water and other such sustenance. When the marathoner runs by, their supporters pass them the "good stuff" that helps to keep them going to win the race. Think of your crops as being just like a marathon runner. Along the race of their lives, they are constantly using nutrients and minerals and water...and they need a constant supply of them to keep going....not only to keep going but to WIN. If their supply of "good stuff" runs out at a critical point in the race, they will fall behind and probably not finish FIRST.

 

Supplying the "good stuff"

Cover crops are a vital part of any biological crop nutrition program. You will want to build up nutrient levels in your cover crops becasue when they die back, they turn into a reserve of plant-available nutrition (the "good stuff) for your revenue producing crops. Planting cover crops is one of the least expensive, most effective and cost-efficient ways to build plant-available nutrition into your soils. It's the most plant-availalbe form of nutrition and provides a constant flow of nutrients so that your crop is less likely to run short at critical points in its race to the finish line.

 

The Right Seed

Agriculture Solutions partners with, Speare Seeds, one of the region's most respected seed suppliers to formulate and blend six (6) custom cover crop seed blends. These blends were designed to maximize nutrient storage, reduce erosion, preserve and build organic matter, reduce compaction, keep your soil alive, and provide excellent, tasty forage for livestock. You can choose from any of our six TrueCover cover crop seed blends or create your own customized blend from our wide variety of high quality cover crop seeds.  

 

Our TrueCover cover crop seed blends contain seed types in varying combinations and include two (2) or more of the following types of seed: oats, crimson clover, Barkant turnips, Ground Breaker (daikon) radish, rye, and Austrian winter peas.

 

We've given our TrueCover blends names that match their function:

High-N-Mighty - for high nitrogen (N) scavenging and storage

Weeduce - for high biomass for excellent weed suppression

Compaction Action - for reducing compaction and improving nitrogen (N) and other nutrient release

N-Aerate - for nitrogen (N) storage and improved soil tilth

Infiltrator - for quick cover weed suppression and an expanded rhyzosphere

Pasturizer - for tasty forage that fills in quickly and overwinters to provide spring grazing

 

The Right Fertilizer

Agriculture Solutions offers conventional and organic fertilizer and custom blends as well as full-season programs to make your cover crop the best it can be.

 

Cover Crop Program

 

  • Plant a TrueCover cover crop seed blend that best suits your soil and nutrient management goals. Include a leqgume if it's nitrogen you're after, or a fast-growing cereal ifyou want to prevent erosion and build organic matter.

    Additionally, consider planting with an Agriculture Solutions starter solution. By doing so, you will be providing your crop with the necessary nutrients to grow deep, hardy roots, ready to take up nutrients. These nutrients help your plants produce sugars and other complex compounds, some of which are then released as root exudates and serve as food for the microbes who digest soil mineral reserves that are available for your current and future crops.

  • Apply foliar nutrients according to soil and plant mineral deficiencies. This is a particularly effective strategy for micronutrients.

    Foliar feeding your cover crop with a high quality nutrient solution, gives you the opportunity to balance your soil nutrient profile, build a more hospitable environment for beneficial microbes that can thrive, releasing more minerals from the reserves in your soils, while increasing the organic matter in your soils. When your cover crop dies back in the fall and decomposes in the spring, the nutrients stored in it will become plant-available for your next growing crop.

  • Spray TrueBlend™ Soil Rejuvenator on the soil at a rate of 8 litres per acre just before cover crop incorporation.

     

    Cover crops are typically grown as a means to decrease soil erosion and to increase soil productivity. They are generally considered to be non-cash crops and are rarely harvested. A cover crop can be used for many purposes: as a green manure "plow down", to recycle valuable nutrients, to interrupt pest and disease cycles, and to suppress weeds. By applying TrueBlend soil rejuvenator to a cover crop that has died back, you are speeding up the breakdown process, and providing a quick and timely plant-available source of nutrients for your next growing crop.

Which fertilizer should I use?

If you'd like to see explanations for each type of fertilizer base, please click on any of the relevant buttons below

 

 

 

  • Fertilizer product button image link
    Fertilizers
  • Bio-stimulants product button image link
    Soil Conditioners
  • Starters product button link image
    Starters
  • Soil Conditioners product button link image
    Bio-Stimulants
  • button-inoculant2
    Inoculants
  • Seed treatment product button image link
    Seed Treatments
  • button-immunity
    Anti-Stress