Aerial seeding less viable for cover crops with drought

Aerial seeding less viable for cover crops with drought.
OTTUMWA — With harvest approaching farmers are considering options for cover crops for fall and next spring to prevent erosion during the winter season.
According to Dustin Vande Hoef, the communication director at the Iowa Department of Agriculture, this method might not be new but with the increasing popularity of cover crops this method has also seen increased adoption over the past 5 years.
“Farmers have a few options for seeding cover crop, aerial is popular this time of year,” said Vande Hoef.
Normally aerial seeding can provides a few advantages by allowing farmers to seed cover crops while crops are still in the field and ground equipment can’t be used.
Unfortunately with the current drought conditions, aerial seeding’s viability is limited because it generally requires moist, friable soil for the seeds to germinate.
Charles Brown says used aerial seeding for cover crops in the past, but drilled last year and will again this year.
With the drought this year farmers could be waiting a bit longer, which shortens the window for planting certain varieties of cover crops.
“We can probably wait till November for cereal rye,” said Brown, “If you are wanting to use radishes or turnips they need to be seeded much sooner.” “Cover crops aren’t the only means to combat winter erosion though.
No-till strip-till and minimum till can all help with erosion,” said Vande Hoef.

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