Increasing Options for Cover Cropping in the Northeast

Final Report for FNE93-014

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 1993: $1,865.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/1993
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Steve Porter
Porter Farms
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Project Information


Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE93-014.

The timing of overseeding into storage cabbage seems to be a critical element in the success of this practice. Because rye and ryegrass grow so quickly in the fall, August 25th may be too early a planting date for these cover crops. Although yields were not adversely affected in this trial rye and ryegrass may well have been too competitive in a higher-yielding stand of cabbage. Vetch seedlings became established in the fall but grew little until the following spring. The August 25th planting date was probably optimum for vetch. The clovers, however were planted too late to establish well and therefore did not grow back well in the spring. Planting clovers earlier, if feasible, might improve their chances for success.

Sheep grazing will have a significant effect on how well a cover crop regrows in the spring, depending on which species is used. Rye seems to respond better to sheep grazing than the other cover crop tested, but if sheep are not given a choice of other forages, they might graze the rye more closely. Harvest traffic did do some damage to cover crops in the fall, and this was one factor that lead to the patchiness in spring regrowth.


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  • Lee Stivers


Participation Summary
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.