Cover Crop Uses

Uses Seed

Farm seed is a large assortment of beneficial crops that are used commonly amongst farmers and gardeners. Most commonly these crops help increase Nitrogen fixation, suppress weeds, attract bees, add organic matter, forage benefits, and provide no till foliage. These methods of farming have been becoming increasingly popular as organic farming methods have seen a resurgence. Not only are these crops beneficial to the farmer but they put less burden on the environment.

The Barkant Forage Turnip is an improved, early maturing, diploid turnip variety with a large purple tankard shaped bulb. Turnips have a high leaf to stem ratio and and provide very high concentrations of protein, sugar content and leaf yields. This turnip is ideally suited for grazing and it is common to obtain 4-6 tons of dry matter per acre of this high-energy feed.  Uses: Chicken forage, deer attractant, forage

The Sweet Clover is a legume that is exceptional for not only attracting honey bees to the garden, but also creating green manure! This clover can grow nearly anywhere under most conditions. The Sweet Clover is our favorite clover because it is more versatile than other clovers at nitrogen fixating, erosion control and attracting beneficial insects. This variety is slow to establish the first year but comes on fast the following year and can produce up to 170 lb. of nitrogen per acre. The Sweet Clover comes OMRI Pre-inoculated. Uses: Bees & Beneficial Insects, Chicken Forage, Compaction Control, Deer Attractant, Erosion Control, Forage, Green Manure, Nitrogen Fixation, No Till, Weed Suppression

The Packer Forage Pea, or Canadian field pea, is a cool-season legume that is used for cover crops, wildlife and winter grazing! This annual legume has good nitrogen-fixing capabilities. The Packer Forage Pea is a low-growing, viny legume which has been shown to fix over 200 pounds of nitrogen per acre per year. Uses: Chicken Forage, Deer Attractant, Forage, Green Manure, Nitrogen Fixation, No Till, Organic Matter (Biomass), Weed Suppression

The California Blackeye #46 is similar to California Blackeye #5, but with smaller seeds. Bred by the UCLA and released in 1987. California Blackeye #46 plants are more erect than California Blackeye #5. The seeds are a typical blackeye type of Southern peas with cream-colored seed coats and black pigments around the eyes.  Heavy yielder. If using for Nitrogen fixation we highly recommend using a cowpea inoculant. Try with cowpea inoculant for maximum Nitrogen fixation.

Chicory has a long taproot that penetrates subsoils which makes it drought tolerant and allows it to make minerals more available to livestock. Rich in potassium, sulfur, calcium, zinc, sodium, manganese and iron. When managed properly, Chicory produces leafy growth which is higher in nutritive and mineral content than alfalfa and other cool season grasses. Used mainly in mixes with other pasture or cover crop seeds. Chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) - Warm season, broadleaf - Perennial - Upright and spreading growth habit - Protein levels: 10-32% - Forms arbuscular mycorrhizal associations Uses: - Bees & Beneficial Insects - Chicken Forage - Deer Attractant - Forage When to Plant:Brassicas consist of short and long season brassicas. Short season brassicas (rape, turnips, radish) should be planted in mid-July or 75 days before your first frost date in the fall. Long season brassicas (kale, swede) should be planted in early May or 150 days before your first frost date in the fall.How to Plant:Till ground before planting. Then firm ground to make flat. Use a seed broadcaster to spread seed evenly over the ground. Next flatten ground again to secure seeds into soil. When to Plant: Brassicas consist of short and long season brassicas. Short season brassicas (rape, turnips, radish) should be planted in mid-July or 75 days before your first frost date in the fall. Long season brassicas (kale, swede) should be planted in early May or 150 days before your first frost date in the fall. How to Plant: Till ground before planting. Then firm ground to make flat. Use a seed broadcaster to spread seed evenly over the ground. Next flatten ground again to secure seeds into soil. Fertilizing: Add 50 lbs of nitrogen per acre and 200 lbs of 6-24-24 at planting. Location:Planting Depth:Soil Type:Full Sun1/8-1/4"Moist, loamy soil Seeding Rates: Sowing SeasonSeeding Rate (1,000 Sq. Ft.)Seeding Rate (1 Acre)ChicorySpring1/4 lb.3-4  lbs.FlaxSpring and Summer1 lb.27-40 lbs.KaleSpring1/4  lb.4 lbs.RadishLate Summer1 lb.10-20 lbs.RapeSpring & Summer1 lb.5-15 lbs.RutabagaSpring & Summer1/4 lb.3-5 lbs.TurnipSpring or Late Summer1/4 lb.8-10 lbs. Sowing SeasonSeeding Rate (1,000 Sq. Ft.)Seeding Rate (1 Acre)ChicorySpring1/4 lb.3-4  lbs.FlaxSpring and Summer1 lb.27-40 lbs.KaleSpring1/4  lb.4 lbs.RadishLate Summer1 lb.10-20 lbs.RapeSpring & Summer1 lb.5-15 lbs.RutabagaSpring & Summer1/4 lb.3-5 lbs.TurnipSpring or Late Summer1/4 lb.8-10 lbs. Cover Crop Calculator: Calculate the amount of cover crop needed Calculate the amount of cover crop needed 1 Acre = 43,560 square feet, or 435'x100' Weight Conversion: 1 Pound = 16 Ounces

The Dwarf Essex Rape Brassicas is a cool season leafy, cabbage related plant that spreads well and is perfect for grazing! This variety will persist well after the first frost and is ready to pasture 6-8 weeks after sowing. Canola (Brassica napus): Cool season, broadleaf, upright and spreading growth habit Uses: Chicken Forage, Deer Attractant, Forage

The Buffalo Grass is a warm-season grass that is the predominant component of the shortgrass prairies of the Great Plains. Once established, it is extremely drought tolerant and tough. It can be used as a xeriscape lawn grass for water conservation, and it is a common component in range mixtures. White Tailed Deer, Bison and Prairie Dogs utilize it for forage, and it is a larval host for the Green Skipper. Plants are stoloniferous and can invade flower beds if an edging or barrier is not used.

The Elbon Rye is a grain that is the best choice for fast, cool-season germination that prevents erosion and builds organic matter in the soil! Plant this variety early to late fall; in mild climates fall through early spring. This grain captures soil nutrients in the fall to release in spring when worked into the soil. The Elbon Rye can reach up to 5 feet! Cereal Rye (Secale cereale L.): Cool season, grass, Annual or perennial, Upright plant growth, Crude protein: straw 4%, grain 14%, C:N ratio: 40-48, Self pollinator (wind) Uses: Erosion Control, Green Manure, Nitrogen Scavenger, No Till, Organic Matter (Biomass), Weed suppression

The Frontier Grazer Rye is a grain that makes a great cover crop to prevent erosion and build up organic matter in the soil! Plant this variety early to late fall; in mild climates fall through early spring. The best choice for fast, cool-season germination. The Frontier Grazer Rye captures soil nutrients in the fall to release in spring when worked into the soil. Uses: Erosion Control, Green Manure, Nitrogen Scavenger, No Till, Organic Matter (Biomass), Weed Suppression<

The Mandan Wildrye Grass is a fast growing, cool-season, perennial bunch-grass that is a great choice for erosion control. It can be planted early or late fall, but for best results, Mandan Wildrye should be planted in the spring. This hardy grass performs well on most soil types. The Mandan Wildrye produces and brown seed head and can grow up to 4 feet! Uses: Erosion Control, Forage, Green Manure, Nitrogen Scavenger, No Till, Organic Matter (Biomass), Weed suppression

The Canada Wildrye is a cool-season bunchgrass grain variety that can be found throughout Canada and the U.S. except in the southeastern states. It is typically found in prairies, open woods, fields and disturbed sites. This grain tends to be short-lived but provides quick stabilization for erosion control seedings, and it makes a good, early successional component of prairie mixtures. The Canada Wildrye provides quality forage for livestock and wildlife.

The Mississippi Silver cowpea is adapted to hot humid climates, but does well in most climates. This variety produces pods 6-7 " long, and that are colored silver, occasionally streaked with rose. The Mississippi Silver is easy to grow and shell. If you are using for Nitrogen fixation we highly recommend using a cowpea inoculant. Try with cowpea inoculant for maximum Nitrogen fixation.

Switchgrass is a rhizomatous, warm-season bunchgrass that is native throughout most of the U.S. It is a major component of the Tallgrass Prairie ecosystem. Alamo originates from Live Oak County, Texas. It is late maturing and was developed as a renewable biofuel resource for the southern U.S. Recommended for pasture mixes, erosion control and soil stabilization. It also provides good nesting habitat, cover and food for many different types of wildlife.

The Winter Wheat is a cool weather grain that is quick to germinate, cold tolerant and is adaptable to a wide range of soils! This wheat can be sown in late summer for erosion control and tilled under in early spring to add organic matter. The Winter Wheat is winter hardy nearly anywhere, and won't go to seed until its second year of growth. Use: Erosion Control, Green Manure, Nitrogen Scavenger, No Till, Weed Suppression

All of the seeds below are very good at attracting deer to your property! Buckwheat - Improves top soil and an effective choke weed! Plant late spring to early summer. Establishes quickly. Matures in 60 days. Accumulates phosphorus and and potassium for following crops. Frost sensitive. Crimson Clover - Winter annual protects and improves soil! Plant fall or early spring. A good nitrogen fixer (70-150 lbs per acre per year). Showy crimson blooms in late spring are an excellent source of nectar for bees. Inter-seeds well with grass. Austrian Winter Pea - A great cool season legume for cover crops, wildlife and winter grazing! Austrian winter pea, sometimes called "black pea" and "field pea" is a cool-season, annual legume with good, nitrogen-fixing capabilities. Austrian winter pea is a low-growing, viny legume which has been shown to fix over 200 pounds of nitrogen per acre per year. Peas - Grow regular old peas in your deer food plot. One of the most preferred vegetables for deer. Oats - Oats will kill off winter weeds and hold soil with a mat of vegetation! A high yielding oat that can produce over 100 bushels per acre. Plant anytime of the year. Deer will graze oats all year round. Barkant Forage Turnip - Great forage crop that provides high energy feed! Barkant turnips are an improved, early maturing, diploid turnip wtih a large purple tankard shaped bulb. Barkant turnips have a high leaf to stem ratio and and provide very high contentrations of protein, sugar content and leaf yields. Barkant Turnips are ideally suited for wildlife. Dwarf Essex Rape - A cabbage related plant that is a perfect grazer! Dwarf Essex Rape is a perfect grazer plant that will persist well after the first frost. Ready to pasture 6-8 weeks after sowing. Hairy Vetch - Sow with or without grain, grass or field peas! When sown late summer, grows fast and will attract wildlife. Hairy Vetch has rapid growth that makes it a good weed suppressant.

The Secada Forage Pea is a relatively new forage pea that has a wide range of uses such as forage, green manure, weed suppression and more! This forage pea is highly palatable, self-climbing and with high dry matter yields. A fast growing, cool-season annual legume, the Secada Forage Pea performs very well during the fall, winter and spring in Southern states. In more northern climes, an early spring plant will give high dry matter yields of excellent forage. Uses: Chicken Forage, Deer Attractant, Forage, Green Manure, Nitrogen Fixation, No Till, Organic Matter (Biomass), Weed Suppression

The California Blackeye #5 cowpea is high yielding, vigorous and easy to grow. You can use these as green shell peas or dry like winter beans. Try with cowpea inoculant for maximum Nitrogen fixation.

The Texas Cream is a heavy yielding Southern cowpea that is great for fresh shelling. This variety is very similarly to 'Sadandy' but the cowpeas are slightly larger. These bush-type plants are prolific and thrive in hotter, Southern weather. Texas Cream is a "cream pea" type variety, they are generally used at the fresh shelling stage. If you are using for Nitrogen fixation we highly recommend using a cowpea inoculant. Try with cowpea inoculant for maximum Nitrogen fixation.