EXPERT TIP: Considerations for a Fall Cover Crop

by Mark Dempsey, CFSA Farm Services Coordinator


It’s mid-season in the Carolinas, and for growers this typically means spring crops are finished, summer crops are keeping you busy, and you’re starting fall crops. This is a good time to consider whether to plant cover crops in some fields this fall instead of all cash crops.

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EXPERT TIP: Reduce Tillage and Increase Cover Crops for Soil Conservation on Your Farm

by Mark Dempsey, CFSA’s Farm Services Coordinator

rolling and planting at the same time

Photo by Clair Keene

With February here, most growers are spending their time out of the field planning next year’s crops, making now a great time to take a step back to assess soil conservation on the farm.


We all want to treat our soil well, keep it on the farm, and maintain or increase fertility. The current, best practices to increase your soil fertility and reduce erosion are to decrease the amount you till and increase cover cropping.  The best option is to try to integrate both of these practices to the extent possible on your farm.

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EXPERT TIP: Estimating Nitrogen Production from Cover Crops

Hopefully, your winter annual cover crop has survived the frigid air masses that swept through the Carolinas in January. Those covers planted late may look a little edgy at this point. Small grains should be all right, but late-planted legumes such as crimson clover may have suffered. Hopefully, we’ll have a warm March/April period, when most of the biomass production from winter annual cover crops takes place. Want more biomass? Let the cover grow as long as possible. Learn More