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Mild Fall Weather Helps Cover Crops

A mild fall in Ohio with minimal rainfall and warmer temps provided favorable conditions for harvest with most farmers finishing before the end of October. Dry weather provided many opportunities for crops to get harvested ahead of schedule and reduced the need to artificially dry grain as well as avoid muddy harvest conditions. Dry harvests are great for no till farming because there is no need for tillage to work in ruts left from combines or grain carts. Additionally, planting conditions for cover crops were excellent as well. Dry fields allowed both drills and broadcast seeders to get in the fields in a timely manner and establish cover crops effectively. Many warm days have helped germination and after thanksgiving a small rainfall event helped get them germinated and established. Weather patterns like we have been experiencing are a reminder that it is never to late to get something established. Research indicates that cereal rye can germinate in temperatures as low as 36 degrees so don't be afraid to try it, long term forecasts show cooler temps on the horizon but daily highs are still in the 40's. Here are a few photos of the status of cover crops across the county.

5 species cover crop seed mix
Diverse seed mixes are jam packed with benifits.

Multi species cover crop blend growing in the field
This winterkill blend of cover crops is still hanging on well after the first frost.

Oat grass growing in a sunny field.
A late September oats plot is established and doing well. Some streaking can be seen where the grasses are scavenging nutrients left from this years crop.

Cover crop seedlings just beginning to germinate after a recent rainfall.
A recently seeded mixture of Cereal Rye, Crimson Clover, and Hairy Vetch is just beginning to take off.


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