Farmers who have seen or experienced mixed success interseeding cover crop seed into existing crops are invited to a free workshop and field day July 11.
The event, set from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., will be at Grandpa Tiny’s Farm - 7775 Weiss St., Frankenmuth. Pre-registration is requested to ensure enough lunches are provided. RSVP here.
The workshop, open to the public, is designed to showcase the reasons why and steps on how to plant early cover crops, a very effective tool for building soil health and controlling weeds.
Establishment can be tricky in Michigan due to climate and other factors, but one solution is to establish cover crops early through interseeding, which will be demonstrated at this workshop.
“One of the challenges to interseeding in Michigan is that our seasons are so short,” said Laura Campbell, manager of Michigan Farm Bureau’s Agriculture Ecology Department. “If you seed after harvest, it can be too cold, and the cover crop won’t have time to get established and hold the soil in place.
“One way to meet that challenge is to interseed while the crop is in the field, when the crop is far enough along the cover crop won’t compete with it."
Questions about such methods will be answered at the field day, with an eye toward what works best on your farm.
“As long as it’s effective and cost-efficient, there’s no reason to just dismiss the idea,” Campbell said. “If you can use the same type of equipment you use for side-dressing nutrients, it might be interesting to look at. The intent of becoming educated at this event is to look at getting a soil-saving cover crop in place early enough so it has a chance to grow and do what it was designed to do.”
An equipment demonstration will be part of the field day, which is hosted by:
The Blue Water Conservation District and the Saginaw Conservation District, with support from:
-Bavarian Inn Lodge
- Star of the West Milling Co.
- Bavarian Bleachers
- The Nature Conservancy
- Cisco Seeds
- Weiss Equipment
- Frankenmuth River Place Shops
- Grandpa Tiny’s Farm
- HFL Fabricating
- Salford Group