Peninsula Pride Farms hosted a Conservation Conversation on Oct. 6 at Olson Family Farms.
Eric and Rich Olson shared that they have been experimenting with different cover crop techniques. The two techniques this group observed was inter-seeding cover crops into V3 corn and multispecies cover crop planted in a wheat field. Agronomist Nathen Nysse said this is some of the best inter-seeding he’s seen.
Olson inter-seeded a red clover rye annual grass into a V3 corn silage field. He is leaving it in the field to help grow nitrogen and leave it as a cover through the winter.
“The goal here is water quality, nitrogen retention plus also living cover to protect the soil from erosion throughout the winter and spring months,” Nysse said. “Our goal here is a success in my opinion.”
The other practice Olson had on display was the cover crop planted in a wheat field. The group went to a location in the field where Olson explained half the field was vertical-tilled and planted while the other was no-tilled and planted right into the wheat stubble. The cover crop mixture used was oats, tillage radishes and half a pound of turnips.
The vertical-tilled crop was green, lush large turnips and radishes while the cover planted into the wheat stubble was much smaller. It will be interesting to see the difference in snow color this winter as to which ground will warm up and create that brown snow first due to how much cover will be left.
He plans plant corn right into the cover crop this coming spring. The hope is to retain some of the nutrients the cover provides, and to preserve the soil over the winter.