Advice From Cover Crop Convert

Farmers have been talking about the pros and cons of different cover crop systems at meetings this winter. (Photo by Simon Crouch)

Although crop scientists and soil fertility experts don’t have full numbers they believe there is an upsurge in the number of Ontario farmers turning to cover crops to protect against erosion and to build soil health.

Discussions at some winter grower seminars seem to support that.

Kerry Lunn farms near Thamesville in Chatham-Kent and 2016 marked his first year growing cover crops.

“With my one year experience, what I’ve seen the cover crops where I planted corn (in 2016) it has helped,” he says. “My corn didn’t suffer on the hills and I had better yields across my sand knolls.”

Lunn believes in keeping the program simple at least at first is a good way to get used to a new program.

“To start small, get comfortable with the single species, and go to a multi (species system),” he says. “I spread rye on everything and I do experiment with the multis.”

Lunn is also working with bio-strips, citing planting issues in some areas, but says his fields will still be planted green.