Farmers who were unable to plant their corn and soybeans because of bad weather might consider planting cover crops this summer to build soil quality and prevent erosion, a Purdue University Extension specialist says.
Cover crops usually are planted in the fall to protect soil over the winter and replaced with corn and soybeans in the spring. But an exceptionally cool and wet spring kept many farmers from planting, leaving fields fallow.
Because many fields were left bare by prevented planting, Purdue Extension soil scientist Eileen Kladivko recommended planting a cover crop to avoid soil erosion and build soil quality. Cover crops can increase a farm’s long-term productivity by loosening soil structure, reducing nitrate leaching and adding organic matter, Kladivko said.
“There is no reason not to do something in the summer,” she said. “Soil quality increases by growing things in it.”
Ohio State University cover crop specialist Jim Hoorman said cover crop roots might create pore space, increasing the soil’s water storage capacity.… Continue readingRead More »