Wheat harvest 2013 has come and gone. Red Clover has traditionally been the choice when it comes to a cover crop option in wheat, however, there are many other options out there. It is always a good idea to follow a crop with a cover crop to reduce soil erosion, add organic matter, reduce nutrient loss, improve soil fertility, and reduce pest populations.

It is important to note that not all cover crops provide equal benefits to the soil. You must assess your needs and the goals you are trying to accomplish.  Are you trying to add organic matter, or create nitrogen production, or avoid erosion?  Each need may require a different cover crop.  Other factors to consider in choosing a cover crop: ease of establishment, total biomass production, growth timing, root characteristics, over-wintering capabilities, control options, herbicide sensitivity, nutrient manager or nutrient user capabilities, and pest management benefits.

With so many great cover crops to choose from, an online tool was developed by a team of cover crop experts from Ontario in conjunction with the Midwest Cover Crop Council. Through a series of drop down boxes, you select your goals or reasons for planting a cover crop. The tool helps to decide which type of cover crop will be the best for your situation.                                                                 http://onspecialtycrops.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/ontario-cover-crop-selector-tool-now-available/

Kirk Van Will, CCA-ON, Maizex Seeds Yield Specialist, West Middlesex & Lambton Counties
Twitter: @KirkVanWill