Friday, April 22, 2011

Benefits of winter legume cover cropping

We have started to till up the fields planted last fall with winter peas. The peas have developed a significant amount of root nodules as far as I can see. The presence of root nodules indicates a healthy amount of nitrogen fixation going on. This is the main benefit of cover-cropping with legumes. It reduces our need for additional nitrogen as a fertilizer. We hope to dramatically increase our usage of winter legumes as a cover crop in the future. They also help crowd out weeds and prevent the need for multiple passes with a tractor in the spring to kill weed sprout mechanically. Now if we can just find a reliable source of organic seed!

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