With the increasing push to use more cover crops in Ontario, particularly red clover in winter wheat, producers are looking for tillage options for managing the cover crop stand.

The tillage demonstration at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show last week focused on conservation tillage options for red clover, as outlined by independent agronomist Pat Lynch in the video below.

Related: Wheat School — Why Red Clover is a No-Brainer

“One of the problems with red clover is the tillage afterwards,” he explains, noting there are tillage options for managing red clover while avoiding erosion and pulling out the moldboard plow.

“We want farmers to plant red clover, but we don’t want them to moldboard plow and lose some of the benefits. This tillage demonstration shows how you can handle the red clover without going back to the moldboard plow,” says Lynch.

There are many factors – no one-size-fits-all – for determining which tillage unit is best suited for a farmer, he adds.

“Different farmers, knowing their soil, want different things from their conservation tillage,” he says. “Figure out what you want on your farm, what you think will work best for your soil, rotation and other pieces of equipment.”

Pat Lynch discusses tillage options for red clover with Bern Tobin at COFS 14:

One thought on “Tillage Options For Red Clover and Other Cover Crops

  1. I would respectfully agree with the importance of cover crops but would disagree that this equipment is “new”.
    Salford designs have been planting and managing cover crops since 2006.

    Cover crops are the key, not only for managing erosion but it is an essential practice in building soil quality and soil health.

    This is not a cost to the producer but rather a profit center previously untapped.

    We are selling ourselves short with conversations on sustainability and conservation. We are so much more capable than that. We need to be thinking and acting in terms of regeneration and rejuvenation.

    As to the equipment cost… Pat says that these tools are expensive and not affordable for smaller farmers. That is not the case.
    Equipment is available, and has been available for some time; that will actually reduce on farm equipment costs even on the smaller operations.

    IPNI in conjunction with the fertilizer industry and the Joint Commission on Air and Water Quality has developed a program called the 4R’s.. This program is a blue print for cleaner water, healthier soils and higher farm profits no matter what the farm size.
    Combine this program found at http://www.IPNI.net with the Midwest Cover Crop Council cover crop calculator found at http://www.mccc.msu.edu/ and of course call your Salford dealer and have him hook you up with our cover crop specialists Jim Boak and Mark Vanveen who have been working with cover crops and managing cover crops for close to 100 years.

    Call us
    Jim 519-670-1004
    Mark 519 -619-6171

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