“Cover crops are an excellent practice to utilize nutrients from manure for growing grain crops,” said Alan Sundermeier, an educator in OSU Extension’s Wood County office. “Capturing the manure nutrients with a growing plant will keep the nutrients on the field and out of waterways.”
Sundermeier, who’s also the director of that office, gave tips on getting cover crops off the ground — and then eventually back into it — as part of the North American Manure Expo earlier this month. The event was in London, about 25 miles west of Columbus.
His talk, called “Establishing Cover Crops,” was one of four during the expo’s Cover Crops track. It was one of about 40 talks in 13 tracks during the event’s two days overall.
The expo’s theme was “Returning nutrients to their roots.”
Sundermeier said more and more farmers are growing cover crops — annual ryegrass, red clover, buckwheat and many others — for their benefits, which include reducing soil erosion and adding soil- and yield-improving organic matter.