Showing posts from May, 2020

Crimping Cover Crops

Crop roller “crimping” has become a common way to mechanically terminate cover crops. Crimpers are used to kill grass cover crops (cereal rye, barley, wheat, sorghum, Sudan, pearl millet), vetches (hairy and common), annual clovers (crimson and balansa), buckwheat, and multi-species cover crops. Crimpers do not work well with perennial cover crops like red clover, alfalfa, or annual ryegrass as a cover crop. The best results occur on annual cover crops when the heads or flowers are in the “boot” or head stage, near the end of the plant growth cycle. Crimpers are 16-inch rolling steel drums with blunt steel blades either tractor pulled or front mounted. As the crimper rolls through a cover crop, the blunt blade “crimps” or injures plant stems every 7 inches. The blades are usually curved or positioned in a “chevron” pattern at a 7- 100 angle to reduce bouncing, soil movement, and to increase maximum plant stem crimping pressure. If done properly, a 90-100% kill is possible without using

Narrow Transport 30ft Crop Roller


Soil Inoculants

As planting season starts, some farmers are applying soil bio-inoculants to promote improved plant growth. Dr. Jay Johnson (retired), former OSU fertility specialist, touted inoculating soybeans with Rhizobium bacteria yearly to increase soybeans yields 1-2 bushels. The Rhizobium bacteria increased nitrogen in soybean nodules which improved crop yields. Today, many farmers are experimenting with soil bio-inoculants with variable results. Evaluating and using soil inoculants requires some careful management to be successful. Underneath a single footprint exists more soil microbes than humans in the world! Soil microbes and plant roots evolved together, feeding each other, and require certain environmental conditions to flourish. Most beneficial soil microbes and plants require well aerated soils with high levels of soil organic matter (SOM). Farmers converting from conventional tillage systems to no-till generally get the most benefit from soil bio-inoculants. Conventional tilled soils