Farmers are interested in expanding their cover crop options beyond winter rye. Species of interest include annual ryegrass, oats, vetch, winter pea, tillage radish, and canola. These species have not been commonly grown as cover crops in the region because they require an earlier establishment date compared to that of winter rye. Farmers are interested in finding alternative cover crops and cover crop mixtures that may provide additional benefits over the standard practice. As an example, incorporating winter peas or vetch would provide a nitrogen fixing cover crop to the system. Annual ryegrass may provide better soil cover and easier to manage level of biomass in the spring compared to winter rye. Farmers are interested in oats as they would winter kill and hence, reduce the need for spring biomass management. Tillage radish may help break up compacted soil layers and improve soil drainage.
Vermont, University of Vermont
Darby, Heather; Ruhl, Lindsey; Cummings, Erica; Monahan, Susan; Post, Julian; and Ziegler, Sara, "Early Fall Cover Cropping Trial" (2014). Northwest Crops & Soils Program. 202.