The Western Wisconsin Conservation Council (WWCC) held a Cover Crop Plot Tour for local farmers to learn more about the use of cover crops. The well-attended event was hosted by farmer-member Skip Grosskreutz and his family. Colin Geppert, Millborn Seeds representative, demonstrated the importance of using cover crops to improve soil health. He noted the advantages of cover crops include- reduced erosion, earlier planting in the spring and maintaining moisture through the growing season. “The earlier you plant the less you have to plant,” Skip shared.
The demonstration plot included nine test strips of various cover crop species such as turnips, radishes, rye, oats and winter camelina. The rye field was harvested the first week of August and the plot was broadcast seeded later that week. The lack of rain resulted in the crops being challenged at this stage, but the farm anticipates desirable results this fall with more precipitation. Skip adds nutrients to the soil using turkey manure and other fertilizers as needed. One of the key takeaways from his experience is to increase biodiversity, resulting in more successful crops.
Thank you to Millborn Seeds for donating the seed used in the plot.