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Cover Crops at a Glance

Grasses and Grains

Cat # Description Planting Time** Seeding Rate (#/1000ft2) Seeding Rate (#/acre) Organic Matter produced/acre
8011-3 Red Fescue
lawn, pasture
LSu, F
2-3#
100-130#
 
8021-2 Orchard Grass
pasture, hay
Sp, Su or W
1/4#
10#
2,000-5,000#
8031-3 Annual Ryegrass
pasture, soil builder, weed control, erosion control, N trap crop
ESp, EF
1/2 -2#
14-35#
3,300-4,000#
8036-43 Perennial Ryegrass
pasture, weed control, N trap crop
ESp
1/2 -2#
25-80#
3,300-4,000#
8046-8 Sorghum/Sudangrass
pasture, soil builder, weed control, pest control, N trap crop, erosion control
ESu
1#
40#
4,000-5,000#
8051-3 CR Lawn Mix
lawn
Sp or F
4#
160#
 
8061-3 Early Riser Corn
feedcorn, silage, cornmeal
LSp or ESu
1/2#
15#
 
8071-3 Wapsie Valley Corn
feedcorn, silage
LSp or ESu
1/2#
15#
 
8076-8 Timothy
hay, pasture
Sp or F
1/2#
15-20#
4,400#
8081-3 Pasture Mix
hay, pasture
Sp
1#
40#
 
8101-3 Barley
hay, weed control, edible, N trap crop
Sp
3#
110-140#
8,800#
8111-3 Japanese Buckwheat
weed control, P and Ca trap crop, edible, bees
LSp or Su
1-3#
35-134#
 
8116-8 Tartary Buckwheat
soil builder, edible, bees
Sp
1-3#
35-134#
 
8121-3 Japanese Millet
weed control, soil builder, silage, hay
Sp
3/4#
30#
 
8126-8 Jerry Oats (planted in Spring)
soil builder, grain, weed control
ESp, LSu, EF
3-4#
120-160#
7,000-9,000#
8126-8 Jerry Oats (planted in Fall)
erosion control, straw
ESp, LSu, EF
3-4#
120-160#
3,000-5,000#
8141-3 Hulless Oats
soil builder, weed control, edible
ESp, F
2#
80#
 
8151-3 Winter Rye
soil builder, weed control, trap crop, edible, erosion control
LSu, F
2-5#
60-200#
3,000-4,000#
8161-3 Winter Wheat
soil builder, weed control, edible
LSu or EF
2#
80#
 
8171-3 Spring Wheat, Red Fife
soil builder, edible
ESp
2-3#
100-120#
 
8181-3 Forage Radish
trap crop, erosion control, soil builder
F
1/2#
8-20#
 
8186-8 Kodiak Mustard
soil builder, nematode control
Sp or F
1/2-1#
15-20#
10,000-12,000#
8191-4 Oil Seed Sunflower
oil, wildlife, silage
LSp or ESu
1/10#-1/4#
5-8#
 

Legumes & Clovers

Cat # Description Planting Time** Seeding Rate (#/1000ft2) Seeding Rate (#/acre) Organic Matter produced/acre
8201-4 Alfalfa
hay, pasture, N-fixer, soil builder, bees
Sp or F
1/2#
15-20#
2,000-4,000#
8206-8 Austrian Winter Pea
hay, pasture, N-fixer, soil builder
ESp or F
1/2#
15-30#
2,000-4,000#
8211-3 Bell Bean
nitrogen, N-fixer, soil conditioner
ESp or F
2-4#
80-170#
1,800-7,200#
8221-3 Field Pea
pasture, hay, N-fixer, soil builder, weed control
ESp
3-5#
100-220#
5,100#
8231-3 Hairy Vetch
N-fixer, soil builder
F
1/2-1#
20-40#
3,000-4,000#
8236-9 Sanfoin
pasture, hay, wildlife, bees
Sp or F
1-2#
40#
 
8251-3 PVO Mix
soil builder, N-fixer
ESp
5#
212#
8,000#
8261-3 Vetch/Rye Mix
N-fixer, soil builder, weed control
F
2#
90#
3,000-4,000#
8306-9 Crimson Clover
pasture, hay, N-fixer, soil builder, weed control
Sp
1/4-2#
9-40#
2,500-3,000#
8316-9 Mammoth Red Clover
N-fixer, hay, pasture, soil builder
Sp, F or W
1/2#
7-18#
4,500#
8321-4 Medium Red Clover
N-fixer, hay, pasture, soil builder, bees
Sp, F or W
1/2#
7-18#
4,000-6,000#
8331-4 Dutch White Clover
lawn, N-fixer, soil builder, bees
Sp or F
1/4#
6-14#
little
8336-9 Alice White Clover
pasture, N-fixer, soil builder, bees
F or W
1/10#
4#
 
8341-4 NZ White Clover
N-fixer, soil builder, erosion control, bees
Sp or F
1/4#
6-14#
little
8351-4 Yellow Sweet Clover
pasture, N-fixer, soil builder, bees
Sp
1/2-1#
9-20#
7,500#

*Seeding rates vary depending on use and method of seeding.

**Sp=Spring; ESp=Early spring; LSp=late spring; Su=summer; ESu=early summer; LSu=late summer; EF=early fall; F=fall; W=frost-seeding in winter.

***

bees
provides bee forage for honey production
edible
produces a grain or bean suitable for human consumption
erosion control
roots hold soil well
hay
maintains nutritional quality when dried
lawn
suitable for heavy traffic areas, withstands mowing
N-fixer
green manure legume makes nitrogen available to subsequent crops when tilled into soil
pasture
superior nutrition and yield, withstands grazing
pest control
reduces insect, disease, or nematode pressure
soil builder
green manure, produces high levels of organic matter and improves soil structure
trap crop
scavenges nutrients from soil, making them available to subsequent crops
weed control
physically out-competes or chemically inhibits weeds