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Planting Cover Crops

Richie Hackett, a researcher in Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, has been working with cover crops for over 10 years and joined Michael Hennessy on this week’s Tillage Edge podcast to go through some of his findings - especially the advantages of planting cover crops early.

Cover crops can be useful for many different functions in a field but some farmers see them as an inconvenience both to plant and to manage before the next crop.

Richie explained how cover crops are useful for mopping up nitrogen, growing organic matter, reducing soil erosion, helping soil structure and soil health and can supply nitrogen to the next crop.

Richie advocated planting early as trials show a 2t DM/ha reduction in crops grown for every three week delay in planting from late July.  He was surprised by the scale of the differences but said that all crops were ploughed back in before the next crop without difficulty or the use of glyphosate.

Richie has produced a video outlining the advantages of planting cover crops early: Watch it here

For more episodes and information from the Tillage Edge podcast go to: www.teagasc.ie/thetillageedge

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