Are cover crops an option for your forced fallow acres in Western Canada?

This spring has been a challenge for many growers in the northern tier of Alberta and Saskatchewan due to wet conditions continuing from last fall. As it feels like crop insurance deadlines are screaming by, growers have limited choices on what to do with these potentially unseeded acres.

There are basically three options:

  • seed a spring crop (canola, barley) as planned, even though you might be passed the crop insurance deadline;
  • leave as chem-fallow to be seeded to a winter crop or again next spring (forced fallow); or
  • seed a cover crop.

The third option might be something you hadn’t considered before. Would cover crops actually be a good fit? We asked Lana Shaw, research manager with the South East Research Farm in Redvers, Sask., whether she thinks cover crops are a viable option for the forced fallow acres.

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