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Cover Crop Seeding – Build Your Own Seeder Or Use the One You’ve Got

Readers who responded to our 2018 survey asked if we could include a little more information on cover crops. So here’s a start of what we’ll be doing more of in the future. This week we thought you’d like to learn a little bit about seeding equipment.

In this first video you’ll see how Ed McNamara put together his own no-till seeder. Ed is a Minnesota farmer. He’s been no tilling soy beans into corn stalks and trying to figure out a better way to increase organic matter and water infiltration and eliminate erosion. In this 3:19 video, he describes how he put together used parts to build a 30 foot interseeder for less than $10,000. While not everyone can figure out how to do this, I thought it would get us all thinking about how we can use the most important farmer/rancher super power we have: adapting what we’ve got to get a job done for less.

In this second 3:55 video, another Minnesota farmer describes his cover crop planter set up. Tom Pyfferoen has a diversified operation growing corn, beans, small grains and livestock – moving from feedlot to grazing and cover crop grazing. He’s been no tilling, planting corn into soybeans, and has had good luck. He said the logical next step was cover crops. In demonstrating his set up he gives some good tips about getting good seed to soil contact and some issues to be aware of when using bulk seed mixes. Sometimes knowing how someone else noticed what wasn’t working and what they do to solve the problem can be helpful when you’re trouble shooting your own seeding.

Thanks to the Land Stewardship Program and their Soil Builders Initiative for these two videos. You’ll find other great resources on their website, including podcasts and factsheets. We’ll be sharing more from them in the future!

Do you have information and experience to share on this topic? You can share in the comments below, or drop me a note by email.

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