Agronomy Tip: Plant Cover Crops this Fall
Cover crops can be planted in late fall, but as each species is different, it’s important to select the right one at the right time.
Freezing temperatures can damage and kill a radish cover crop, which is ideally planted in late summer or early fall. However, a species like cereal rye can be planted in late fall.
Jason Haegele, Agronomy Manager for WinField United says, “Depending on fall temperatures and weather conditions, a late planting of cereal rye might still emerge and gain some vegetative growth. Otherwise, the seed will persist in the soil and begin to grow when spring temperatures reach around 40 degrees F.”
Haegele also recommends drilling the seed rather than surface broadcasting it. This is more important with late planting to ensure that the seed has the opportunity to either germinate quickly or be protected depending on weather conditions at the time of planting.