Paul Cornette has been planting cover crops for three years and his are growing nicely at Cornette Dairy. Paul answered a few questions below.
What is crop to be planted within cover crops?
Corn will be no-till planted into these fields.
What equipment do you use to plant cover crops?
This was planted with a no-till grain drill. Sometimes I do broadcast cover crop seed.
How long have you been planting cover crops?
This is the third planting season with cover crops at Cornette Dairy, not counting winter wheat which I’ve been planting for many years.
What benefit(s) do you receive from planting cover crops?
There are many benefits to cover crops. A few of my favorites are: better infiltration for less runoff and what does runoff is much cleaner, reduced labor and fuel expense (plowing takes lots of time and fuel) and I am starting to see crops more resilient to extreme weather (drought or heavy rain) thanks to the healthier soil.
What advice would you have for farmers who aren’t planting cover crops?
If or when you give cover crops a try, start small and inexpensive. Start with something that gives you an easily recognizable benefit, like some forage to harvest or maybe something to attract deer. When you find one thing that works, keep doing it and try something new. Strive for continuous improvement.