Winter Cover Crops
The following article is very educational on the benefits of a good cover crop. Although the study was conducted in Pennsylvania, the same benefits of cover crop application apply to this area as well. You have two choices with winter cover crop application, we can deliver it to you or we can fly it on!!
 
Good Corn, No Purchased Nitrogen
Here is a story worth reading. My friend Steve produced 190 bushel corn in Pennsylvania with no purchased nitrogen.

"Farmer Steve Groff of Holtwood, Pa., is an enthusiastic advocate for the use of cover crops in both no-till and conventional tillage farming methods. In fact, he worked for over 10 years with Dr. Ray Weil at the University of Maryland to develop and bring to market the Tillage Radish cover crop, a variety of the brassica species, selected for its uniquely aggressive single taproot that grows through compacted soils and provides many additional benefits.

Groff operates what many experts consider as one of the most extensive on-farm cover crop research farms in the nation. His Cedar Meadows Farm covers 215 acres in Southeast Pennsylvania, just a few miles north of where the Susquehanna River empties into the Chesapeake Bay.

In a new research finding in the use of cover crops, this past year, Groff grew 190 bushel per acre corn on farm-scale plots without the addition of Nitrogen fertilizer. For a nitrogen hungry crop like corn, such results are virtually unheard of in the agricultural arena.

His annual Cover Crop Field Days attracted hundreds of farmers, scientists and environmental proponents to see first hand how cover crops are used to virtually eliminate soil erosion, reduce the use of all types of pesticides, enhance soil biology and actually increase yields in the process. In fact, University of Maryland research, in which Groff participated, showed that the use of the Tillage Radish increases corn yields by 12 bushels per acre (bu/ac), soybean yields by eight bu/ac, and winter wheat yields five bushels per acre and more in some cases.

The tests were replicated in fields that have been continuously no-tilled for 18 years. The test fields were seeded in August 20, 2010 with a 10-species mix of cover crops. TA Seeds variety TA525-13V (103 day) corn was planted April 29, 2011. No starter or N was applied. Other plots in the fields receive 60, 90 and 120 lbs of N at side dress. The harvest was measure by TA Seeds' weigh wagon.

The zero-nitrogen fertilizer input and high corn yield is attributed to the sustained use of no-till practices over time as a means to build soil health, combined with nitrogen fixing cover crops. Groff's research shows that strategically selected blends of the Tillage Radish, legumes like Austrian Winter Peas, and soil-building plants like Phacelia and others can dramatically reduce or, in some cases like this research finding, replace the need for additional fertilizer input altogether.

Groff's fields teem with earthworms, a recognized sign of healthy soil, where air and water infiltrate with ease, and where microbial populations are in balance with the plant life that the soils sustain. In fact, where Tillage Radish is planted as a fall cover crop, earth worms are attracted to them like a magnet, feed on them as they decompose in the spring and take their collected nutrient benefits deep into the root zone of the follow row crops.

Beneficial fungi like Mycorrhiza are abundant in healthy soils, as well as beneficial insects and other life forms. Cover crops help restore soils in intensively cultivated agricultural fields such that the soil-depleting effects are largely offset. Interest is rapidly growing in knowledge about the regular use of cover crops planted after and before, and in some cases inter seeding with cash crops like corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton. Properly selected cover crops can double as additional forage value for cattle.

Groff's dedication to farm-based research is helping produce the kind of economic data and other practical information that farmers need to more readily adopt the regular use of cover crops as part of their cultivation program.

Tillage RootMax™ Certified Annual Ryegrass
Deep Root Technology: Now Available After Thirteen Years in Development!
We offer the only Ryegrass variety certified for genetic purity for use as a cover crop. Tillage RootMax™ Deep Root Annual Ryegrass™ genetic purity assures maximum performance of unique properties of this new annual ryegrass.
Benefits of being certified for genetic purity
  • Even growth makes for easier knockdown each spring; one pass in most cases
  • Uniform sprouting leads to more even growth
  • The perfect forage grass based on higher leaf to stem ratio
  • Our roots go deeper than most other annual ryegrass varieties
  • Soil structure is improved deeper, providing enhanced growing conditions for cash crops
Tillage Radish
Improved Soil Fertility

How it Pays: It's the Improved Soil Health!High Vital Nutrient Content!

Plants require vital nutrients for growth, including (N), (P) and (K), as well as trace minerals including boron, chlorine, cobalt, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, sulfur and zinc.
Tillage Radish® and Tillage Radish seed blends improve soil fertility by acting as nutrient scavengers taking up vital nutrients both above and below the soil compaction zone. Available (N), (P), (Ca) and (S) are mineralized during peak Tillage Radish growth. Nutrients are then released back into the soil and made available for healthy crop plant growth. As Tillage Radish decomposes, a film of Calcium is left on the soil surface.

More Drainage and Air, More Soil Conditioning

Our cover crop radish also adds organic matter to soil, improving structure by breaking up the compaction zone and enhancing water drainage, air movement and root growth deep in the soil.
As it decays, Tillage Radish leaves voids in the soil with holes in the compaction zone created by the taproot. Not only is air and water circulation increased, microbial activity improves and easier planting becomes possible!

Biodiversity is a Must!

Tillage Radish contributes to biodiversity, especially in fields where mono cultures are grown in high intensity cultivation, such as with corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and other cash crops. An ongoing cover crop program using Tillage Radish seed helps achieve a sustainable balance in the complex systems that make for a healthy, fertile soil season after season.
Reduced Compaction
How it Pays:It's the Reduced Tillage Expenses!
 
The Tillage Radish® cover crop radish has the long singular taproot, a trait produced by superior genetics. After 10 years of testing and observation, the superior genetics of the original and only Tillage Radish seed is proven to be the secret weapon for higher crop yields!
Only the Tillage Radish taproot will drill through compacted subsoil layers during the fall when the soil is wet and soft. Channels are left deep down in the subsoil where cash crop roots will follow during the summer to capture needed moisture and nutrients.
Tillage Radish has 2-4x more roots than cereal rye or rape in heavily compacted soils.

Tillage Depth Comparison The Tillage Radish taproot drills through soil, reaching depths up to 32" or more! A V-Ripper or strip tiller can only reach approximately 12" below soil surface and creates a hardpan.