LANCASTER – Have you been seeing some interesting things this fall in some local farm fields? An airplane spreading seed over a soybean field that was ready for harvest? Have you seen fields turning green after the first frost?
We are all used to seeing winter wheat planted on a few fields over the winter but some farmers are trying to use cover crops to help retain and improve soil on their fields and secure nutrients in their soil over the winter with a living root. As the Buckeye Lake Area looks toward improving water quality for future generations we all must look at what we do and think about different ways of doing it.
Some cover crops being used in Ohio over the winter are cereal rye, annual rye grass, crimson clover, oats and oil-seed radish. These plants will not be harvested, but will freeze-out making the nutrients they absorbed available to the corn or soybeans next spring. In the Buckeye Lake area we are trying to understand which cover crops and management techniques work best for our soils, our slopes and our community’s bottom line.
If you would like to learn more about cover crops visit, the Midwest Cover Crops Council http://mccc.msu.edu/; the Ohio State University Extension http:// ohioline.osu.edu/ OR Contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District or OSU Extension Office. They are: Fairfield SWCD 740-653-8154; Fairfield OSUE 740-653-5419; Licking SWCD 740-670-5330; Licking OSUE 740-670-5315; Perry SWCD; 740-743-1325; Perry OSUE 740-743-1602
This project is funded under the Buckeye Lake Nutrient Reduction Project.