An advantage of the early winter wheat harvest has been an early entry for our cover crops. One of the most enjoyable crops to grow, which although comes at a busy time of year, the simplicity and speed of drilling with the Pro-Til allows us to easily fit it in around harvest.
The enjoyment comes from the ‘close the gate’ nature of the crop and at a time of year where soil temperature and sunlight promote fast establishment and building of biomass. When time allows, I find myself taking the long way back to the grain store to look over the hedge as the crops moves on so quickly!
This year saw a substantial increase to the cost per kg of a few of the components of our mixture, most surprisingly oats. A few tweaks to the seed rates later, and we had our five-way mix comprising of Oats, Phacelia, Linseed, Buckwheat and Sunflowers. A mix that works well both as part of our wider rotation, but also the work it will do above and below ground. Conditioning and protecting our heavy clay soils over winter, ready for the entry of our legume break crop in spring, this cover crop more than justifies the cost and pulls its own weight on the team.