Cover Crops are not created equally. When choosing cover crops you need to find the perfect partner for your situation and your goals.
Our seed team have years of experience, backed by Agrii R&D to help tailor a mix to suit your goals.
Which soil issue is most important to resolve?
Soil structure, nutrient capture and fixation, erosion control, low organic matter/carbon capture, weed suppression, a reduction in harmful nematodes or a requirement to increase the number of beneficial insects.
What positive effects are you looking to achieve?
Reduce cultivation/establishment costs, improve soil fertility, raise organic matter levels, reduce input costs and in the longer term improve overall soil health and farm sustainability.
What Do you Want To Achieve With Your Catch /Cover Crops?
Key Considerations when Choosing Cover Crops
What is your crop rotation? Avoid cover crops that may increase disease and pest pressure in close rotations.
When will you be able to drill the cover crop? Generally best growth/results come from early August sowings, choice of species should change if September sown.
How long do you want the cover to last? Do you require a short term cover prior to late autumn sowing, a longer term frost-susceptible mix which may save on destruction costs, or a full cover until the spring to maintain soil protection?
Will the catch/cover crop be used for livestock grazing to produce additional income?
What type of drill will you use to establish the following crop?
What soil type do you have and is it well structured? Heavier or poorly structured soils will require extra attention and careful species selection to maximise the benefit of a cover crop.
What is the likely Carbon:Nitrogen ratio of the cover crop? The C:N ratio of a species/mixture gives an indication of the speed of breakdown and release of nutrients. This is important to understand as you may need to adjust your nutritional inputs to the following crop depending on when this occurs.
High C:N ratio covers crops will take nitrogen from the soil reserves as the soil biota starts the process of breaking down the carbon in the cover crop, which can restrict the amount of nitrogen freely available in the early stages of the following crop.
Low C:N ratio cover crops will conversely break down much more quickly, making nutrients available earlier, and returning a greater percentage of the total within the life-cycle of the following crop.
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