Field Work Podcast

Cover Crops Part 2: Recycling Your Nutrient Dollars

Cover crops blanket the soil from the time you harvest one crop until you plant the next. And there’s a long list of benefits they provide: they can replenish soil in between planting, prevent soil erosion, slow water down, pull moisture deeper into the soil, and increase soil organic matter over time. For Doug Adams, an Iowa farmer and soil conservation technician at USDA-NRCS, cover crops also provide a way to recycle his nutrient dollars. In this episode, he tells Zach and Mitchell about how much he hates seeing valuable fertilizer leak out of his system, as it’s never coming back. “If I can get a good cover crop established,” he says, “it will help sequester some of those nitrates and other fertilizer and keep it from getting flushed out of my system.” Also in this episode: Mitchell explains what it means to “keep it squatchy,” and Zach weighs in on how to speak Minnesotan to earthworms.

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