5 Keys to Success for Roller-Crimping Covers

From getting a thick stand of cover crops to terminating them at the right time, roller-crimping experts explain the key components for weed control in organic no-till.

Rolling and crimping of cover crops is a crucial component to making organic no-tilling work, experts say.

Biomass left over from a healthy canopy of cover crops can suppress weeds, while roller-crimpers handle cover crop termination — all without the use of herbicides or tillage.

But ensuring that the cover crop grows enough biomass to suppress weeds and is completely killed requires dedicated management.

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Green Roller Crimper in the field

ESSENTIAL TOOL. Roller-crimpers, such as this one originally designed by The Rodale Institute, are perhaps the most important equipment for organic no-tillers to own, as they let growers terminate cover crops without chemicals and lay down thick mulch to smother weeds. (Photo Courtesy of The Rodale Institute)