Burchett Seed Service is proud to sponsor the annual Mid-MO Soil Health Seminar at the Isle of Capri Casino in Boonville, MO on Tuesday, March 5th and Wednesday, March 6th from 9a-4p. Click below for a flyer or visit www.midmosoilhealth.com for more information.
Cover crops are a vital tool for managing your soil's health and improving the long-term sustainability of your farming operation. Burchett Seed Service is committed to working with you to develop a plan to make your soil work harder for you by protecting it and nurturing it through a complete, year-round cover crop system. Click below to see our current cover crop price list, keep reading to see a brief overview of some of the benefits of cover crops or just give us a call to talk more about how you can implement a cover crop system on your farm.
Any discussion of cover crops has to start with keeping your dirt on your farm. Soil improvement starts with keeping the soil where it belongs!
Cover crops, particularly a moderate to heavy rate of rye or other small grain over the winter, can greatly reduce the emergence and growth of many weeds early in the next growing season, giving your crop a head start on the competition.
Virtually all of our crops' interaction with the soil is facilitated by soil organisms. From insects and earthworms to bacteria and fungi, each of these creatures perform valuable services to help your crop grow. Cover crops will allow for a greater range and number of these critters by adding diversity to the plants in your field and by feeding them during the times of the year there is no cash crop in the field. Cover crops can also provide much-needed winter habitat for wildlife.
It doesn't matter how much rain you get or how much your soil can hold if the water can't get from point A to point B. Cover crops will improve water infiltration by allowing rainfall to flow along macropores in the soil created by cover crop roots as well as those created by insects and earthworms.
Cover crops can also provide extra forage for your livestock. A warm season blend after wheat can provide much needed late summer grazing to ease pressure on overworked pastures and a cool season mix after corn or beans can reduce your reliance on hay over the winter and perhaps even become hay in the spring. Even if you don't have animals of your own, cover crops could provide you with an additional income stream renting the grazing to your neighbors who do have livestock.
Most of our soils have half or less of their original organic matter. This loss of organic matter has led to a decrease in natural soil fertility and water holding capacity. Organic matter is no quick fix, but years of steady progress can lead to lower fertilizer usage and increased drought tolerance among other benefits.