Cover crops are everywhere in Michigan

A few phone calls to seed dealers around the state confirms that farmers are planting significantly more cover crops.

The use of cover crops in Michigan and the Midwest is growing rapidly.  Recently I called several seed dealers across Michigan to ask them about cover crops.  Below are some of their statements.

In the Thumb region of Michigan, Star of the West said that cover crop use has significantly increased over the last two years.  They mentioned that frost seeding red clover into wheat has increased 50 percent.  All the pickle ground is being seeded to cereal rye or oilseed radish unless it is going into wheat.  No-till corn farmers are putting in cereal rye after corn harvest.  Overall, they feel cover crop acreage in the Thumb has increased 25 percent.

Cisco Seeds mentioned their cover crop sales have tripled this year and farmer interest is tremendous.  They expect to sell two million pounds of cover crop seed this year that will cover 100,000 acres.  In the Thumb alone, Cisco sent two additional semi loads of red clover seed this year totaling 90,000 lbs., which would seed 15,000 acres at 6 lbs./A frost seeding rate.

Eastern Michigan Grain said that cover crop interest is up 200 percent over last year.

Sweeny Seed mentioned a 10 to 15 percent or a 10,000 acre increase this year.

A consultant in Indiana told me they were going to aerial seed 30,000 acres this year of mostly annual ryegrass plus crimson clover.

If you haven’t planned on using cover crops this year, but want to learn more, we will be offering field days, workshops, and, of course, you can use our on-line Cover Crop Decision Tool.  Please contact MSU Extension’s .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information. MSUE is at the forefront of cover crops and we have many resources to help you with your cover crop decisions.

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