A number of producers tout how the benefits of cover crops can be found in the soil directly underfoot, and, some months down the road, in their wallets. Though that knowledge doesn’t always help to justify a non-harvested crop that takes time, energy and cash to plant. One livestock operation in southern Ohio is using a versatile cover crop that benefits them multiple, more immediate, ways.
Bolender Farms in Brown County, an Angus operation, has started to see some more visible evidence of cover crop effectiveness after using a plant that’s been gaining popularity in recent years for its double-duty value. Triticale is a wheat and rye hybrid known to combine the productivity of wheat with the hardiness and short-season abilities of rye.
“Between me and my wife and my dad and my uncle, we run about 95 angus brood cows,” said Adam Bolender. “The triticale works out nicely because we can, one, have a cover crop that’s grown all winter, two, take the forage off to feed the cattle in the winter, and then three, still be able to get a bean crop or a corn crop, whatever your choosing would be, planted in a timely manner — usually by the last week of May.”
The Bolender family implemented the forage for the first time this year after noting the success with triticale family friend Ben Parker had on his operation.… Continue reading