The planting of close-growing crop that protects the soil temporarily during the period before the next crop is established.
There are many reasons to plant cover crops. Here are just a few below:
Cover crop planted to protect soil in the non growing season months and enhance the quality of the soil for the upcoming crop.
High-Boy Interseeder Cover Crop Innovation Project
The Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) was able to obtain over $200,000 to purchase a high boy inter-seeder. Our farms are very knowledgeable and know how beneficial cover crops are. However in New York many years we have a very small time window to plant cover crops at the farms busiest time of year. Lack of time, labor, and funds to purchase the seed for cover crops has limited its potential in New York. The use of the Schuyler County SWCD’s inter-seeder now allows for cover crops to be planted throughout the growing season. The Schuyler SWCD has also been able to obtain funds for seed costs and operators to run the machine. We utilize this machine in Schuyler and Chemung Counties, working jointly with the Chemung County SWCD staff. Cover Crops as a best management practice is the most cost effective conservation. Reducing erosion, reducing sediment and nutrient loading of surface water bodies, while improving soil health, increasing permeability, reducing water runoff and flooding impacts, while providing nutrients for the following years crops. Over 3,400 acres of cover crops were implemented in the two county area through this program this year alone. Conserving more than 8,000 tons of soil. We look forward to maintaining and growing this valued program for years to come.
Soil Health Funding
The Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District was able to obtain $25,000 in funding through New York State Agriculture and Markets for a local soil health project. This project has allowed us to purchase a unique no-till seeder that will be utilized for seedings for many years to come. As part of the project the Soil and Water Conservation District will do 200 acres of no-till seedings and have a large educational program for Schuyler and Chemung County Farmers. The District has seeded over 120 acres in the fall of 2015.
Cover Crop Trial
The SWCD planted a cover crop trial on the Wickham farm. This trial was planted to test what the most time effecient way of establishing quality cover crops. The district wrote a successful grant to plant over a 100 acres of cover crops for the a 3 year period that started in the fall of 2012. This trial will establish how we plant these cover crops.