Diverse Yet Smart Cover Crop and Forage Mixes: 4 Rules for Perfect Pairings

When you make a mix or interseed one crop in another for a “relay effect”, you’re looking for the most bang for your diversity buck. Taking care to mix a few carefully selected species that are well matched always trumps throwing together a hodgepodge of random selections. The species you choose will depend heavily on your goals for the crop and whether you plan to seed all the species together or at staggered times (i.e. interseeding). King’s AgriSeeds and Southeast AgriSeeds continually look for ways to make better mixes. Combining products for unusual applications have given us invaluable information that we use for both the commercial mixes that we have available and the carefully formulated custom mixes we make on demand. Here are a few lessons learned over the years" Mixing annuals and perennials can be done, but use caution when mixing two species with different growth speeds (and in some cases, similar growth speeds too). You probably know that annuals grow faster than perennials, since they accomplish all their vegetative and reproductive growth in one season. Taking advantage of that quality can make good sense, for example, by growing oats or another small grain as a nurse crop for alfalfa. Interseeding a fall cover crop in standing corn planted in 30-

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