Cover Crop Seeds

While the use of cover crops has been around for years, and we've been providing them for nearly 50 years, there is a wordwide renewed interest which has led to an increased use of traditional options including grains (rye, oats, buckwheat), peas, clover, annual grasses, vetches, radish, brassicas, mustards, etc. Additionally, farmers and researchers are providing new species, selections out of traditional species, and combinations.

Visit the following categories to see our offerings in each area. Also, feel free to visit the information links listed at the bottom of the page for more general information. For all of your cover crop needs please contact us and we will be happy to either provide you with your needs, if you are a wholesale distributor, or direct you to a regional distributor.

NEW! - Read the Advantages of Coated Grasses and Legume Seed for Cover Crops to learn why coating and proper inoculation can help ensure successful cover cropping.

Annual ryegrass

Annual Ryegrass

A popular cover crop in parts of the Midwest, annual ryegrass is fast establishing, provides excellent weed suppression, and can help reduce nematode populations. We offer Ed, Marshall, and Jackson diploids.

radish

Radish

Radishes are becoming very popular for cover crops, with numerous benefits including increasing yields of subsequent crops. We now offer Mino Early daikon radish - a true variety (not a brand) with 40-day maturity.

Winter Pea

The traditional Austrian Winter pea is well used and commonly under-stood. New varieties, such as Lynx and Windham, promise greater winter survivability and improved virus resistance.

Vetch

Vetch

Vetch is a great nitrogen fixer, sometimes providing nearly all the N need for the next crop. It's also winter hardy. While common Hairy Vetch is most popular, new varieties are coming on the scene.

crimson

Crimson Clover

This clover has been very popular for years in the Southern half of the United States. In recent years, interest in crimson for cover crop purposes has increased farther north. We offer Dixie as well as common crimson.

buckwheat

Buckwheat

Buckwheat has the reputation of being the fastest growing cover crop. It is very sensitive to cold and easily killed by frost. Buckwheat also is very adapted to a wide range of soils.

Rapeseed

Rapeseed

Rapeseed can be used to capture N, surpress weeds, produce large amounts of biomass, and improve soil tilth.

cover crop mix

Custom Mixes

Custom cover crop mixes, also called "cocktail blends", are considered the real future of cover crops. Combining vetches, peas, clovers, grains, and other crops for specific purposes makes good agronomic sense.

General Cover-Crop Resources

Managing Cover Crops Profitably (2nd Edition) - This is probably the most referenced and most commonly used cover crop guide available.

Univ. of Calif. Sustainable Ag. Research & Education Program's Cover Crop (SAREP) Resource Database - "Includes over 5,000 items gleaned from more than 600 separate sources, including journal articles, conference proceedings, standard textbooks, unpublished data, and personal communications from researchers and farmers."

Midwest Cover Crops Council - "The goal of the Midwest Cover Crops Council (MCCC) is to facilitate widespread adoption of cover crops throughout the Midwest, to improve ecological, economic, and social sustainability."

Cover Crops for Sustainable Agriculture (IDRC) - This resource covering a wide range of information on crops. Use the crop index for specific research.

Overview of Cover Crops and Green Manures - A summary of the principal uses and benefits of cover crops and green manures. From the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

Michigan Cover Crop Species - Resources for both the state of Michigan and other very good links.

Using Green Manure Crops for Nitrogen Management - A PDF Powerpoint presentation at the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants 2009 Meeting. Good info/comparison data on crimson, berseem, arrowleaf, subclover, hairy vetch, and Austrian winter pea.

How Cover Crops Surpress Weeds - by Mark Schonbeck, VA Association for Biological Farming explains how and why cover crops are a natural weed suppressor.

Benefits fo Cover Crops in No-till Wheat Stubble - A Field Fact bulletin put out by Pioneer, explains the benefits of cover crops for use in South Dakota wheat crops.

USDA/NCRC Cover Crop Conservation Practice Job Sheet - A Job Sheet put out by the USDA/NRCS in Ohio. Includes useful charts with straight and mixture seeding rates and suggested uses for oats, radish, rye, annual ryegrass, and legumes.

A very current and important benefit of cover crop usage relates to phosphorus management. Phosphorus is usually bound to soil particles, and are transported by soil erosion. Cover crops can play a significant roll in reducing erosion. Additionally, cover crop plants can help consume excess phosphorus. Read Protecting Water Quality:Phosphorus Best Management Practicesby Jerry Lemunyon, USDA-NRCS,to learn more.

USDA Cover Crop Chart – An extensive chart and good tool to compare various cover crops attributes. Chart includes comparisons of such benefits as weed suppression, erosion reduction, C-N ratio, as well as includes seeding rate/depth recommendations.

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