True BYH Addict
- Oct 30, 2019
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Ok, I’m going to have to read this a couple tI es, but I’m pretty sure that I get it....Chris understands it, but I wanted to...thanks @farmerjan !!A cover crop is one that is usually planted after a row crop has been removed. In other words, if you plant corn, then harvest it for either silage or shell it for the grain, a cover crop is something like rye or wheat that is planted so that it will grow a little before the winter and "COVERS" the ground. The same for something like soybeans that are harvested then a cover crop is planted to cover the ground for the winter. Then in the spring, the cover crop is either cut and harvested for the crop (rye as hay or allowed to head out and the rye seed is harvested) or it is plowed under for what we call a green manure crop and then something like corn or some other "row crop " is planted.
A cover crop usually only lasts for a single season or even for only a "half season" .
Although hay covers the ground, it is not considered a cover crop per se because it will not be plowed up or harvested and the ground left bare after it is harvested. Hay is considered a permanent crop, usually lasting from 5 to 20 years on the ground.
We planted wheat for a cover crop after we harvested the sorghum-sudan as hay last year from one of the fields. Normally we would cut it and make hay early, then kill the stubble to plant something else like corn or the sorghum-sudan again. We use it in our rotation to renovate our hay fields. 2 years of a sorghum-sudan crop, wheat or rye for the winter, then plant back into sorghum-sudan or into corn, then harvest that then plant a cover crop then take it off in the spring and plant a permanent crop of orchard grass for hay.