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Cover crop didn't get covered before rain....

Posted by emyers 8 SC (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 13, 09 at 6:48

Weatherman lied.
Spent all weekend tilling 5 acres and got a cereal rye/crimson clover mix broadcast at a relatively high rate per acre at dark last night. Intended to wake up and use a drag harrow on the seed to lightly cover it.

Well, lo and behold, the bottom fell out this morning and continued all day.... dog food bowls had about 3 inches in them!

Anyway, my field is pretty much a "swamp" now (little standing water but muddy) so little hope of getting tractor in there for the next day or so.

I walked it today and the seed still seems to be relatively in place, but it's definitely on the surface.

Combination Sand, Clay and Sand Loam.

What's gonna happen? What should I do next? Pray?

I'm pm'ing all of you too.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Cover crop didn't get covered before rain....

I broadcasted covercrops late September and have yet to get a drop of rain on them after the wettest summer in years. I spread seed on loosely disced stubble and wait for a heavy rain to incorperate the seed. This method works especially well with chrimson clover and ryegrass seed. It will also work with grain rye. The heavy rain you got is just what you needed. I would not mess with the harrow from now on because you will damage the seeds that are now germinating. Please send that rain up north to me.. Bob.

RE: Cover crop didn't get covered before rain....

Hey Bob-
Thanks for your input. Guess there's hope after all!

Went out this morning and EVERYTHING has germinated.... Rye and clover. Nothing green yet but as long as the legs can start actually burying themselves, then maybe I'll be good.

Man, it quit raining yesterday, and this morning at 9:00 AM started back up again. Good chance of rain rest of the week... at a minimum it should be overcast, which I think will help my chances.

Crossing my fingers that some of the rain we've had will blow your way!


RE: Cover crop didn't get covered before rain....

Thanks Ed. We are getting a soaking and mud is everywhere.. Bob.

RE: Cover crop didn't get covered before rain....

Good for you!
Clover appears to be doing well. Rye, well, not so well. Looks like it's preference is without a doubt to be covered.
I find it very interesting that one seed can do just fine without being covered and another basically needs to be covered to survive when both seeds are presented with identical situations.

I noticed that the rye seed that was broadcast over areas that had some stubble type areas (more like wood/limb/brush trash that didn't get tilled in), seems to be doing much better than the rye that just got broadcast over the top of the soil, be it either sand, clay or loam.... mixed conditions here.

It's almost as though the clover has a preference for roots growing down, whereas the rye has a preference for roots spidering out. In fact that is what the rye seed looks like that has germinated on top of the soil... spiders.


RE: Cover crop didn't get covered before rain....

Did you get a good stand after all, Eddie? Better or worse or no difference between this year and when you used a harrow?

RE: Cover crop didn't get covered before rain....

Eddie I have the same soil you have, I never harrow grass or clover, usaly it works out pretty well. Rain germinates it roots work thier way down, here in Zone 6 winters freeze thaw works seed down on its own.

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