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Organic High Tunnel Cover Crop Soil Management

High tunnels extend the spring, fall and winter growing season in southern climates. During the summer, it can be difficult to grow anything more than the most drought-tolerant crops. Summer is the prime time to grow a cover crop in a high …

1 min read

No-till Vegetable Cover Crops

There are several different management options for vegetables, like cantaloupe. One option is to use a roller/crimper and terminate the cover crop without cutting the stems. Producers can also terminate cover crops by mowing. Mowing, howeve…

1 min read

Equipment Modifications for High-Residue Systems

Setting up equipment for operation in high-residue systems in critical to ensure the establishment of optimum plant stands.

Set row cleaners to move residue away from the plant row without trenching into the soil surface. Make adjustment…

1 min read

Rollers for Terminating Cover Crops

Rollers are an option used by farmers to flatten and kill cover crops before planting a cash crop, alone or in conjunction with chemical termination.

Rollers differ in several ways:

Cost and ease of assembly.
Weight and horsepowe…

1 min read

Terminating Your Cover Crop

Termination timing is something all producers deal with each spring. All production decisions impact the profitability of farming operations, so sound decision making is key to a profitable cash crop and a beneficial cover crop.

There is…

1 min read

Trap Crops for Managing Insects

Many insect pests with piercing and sucking mouthparts have become major economic pests of fruit and vegetable crops grown in Alabama. These insects are polyphagus, meaning that they feed on numerous plant species, such as grasses and broad…

5 min read

Management Options for Chinese Tallowtree

Chinese tallowtree, Triadica sebifera (L.) Small, is one of the most invasive trees in the southeastern United States. It is a classic example of a plant introduced into the United States with good intentions but with very bad outcomes. 

4 min read

Peanut-Cotton Response to Residual Herbicides

Cover crops can provide many benefits to peanut and cotton rotations. Especially in terms of suppressing weeds, conserving soil moisture for planting, increasing soil organic matter, and reducing soil erosion. However, in fields where resid…

1 min read

Managing a Cover Crop

Careful management is essential to maximize benefits from a cover crop. This is no different from the care and intensive management farmers invest in cash crops. Planting quality seed at recommended rates and depths to ensure adequate bioma…

1 min read

Choosing the Right Cover Crop

Choosing the right cover crop for your cropping system is an important step in the planning process.

What does the cover need to provide for the following crop? What is the planting time frame? Generally, producers should choose a cover …

1 min read

About Cover Crops

Properly managed cover crops protect the soil surface from water/wind erosion and remediate soil compaction. Growing plants feed the soil ecosystem by exuding compounds from their roots—sugars, organic acids, amino acids, and more. These …

1 min read

Cover Crops: Legumes

Winter Pea
Pisum sativum: Producers should plant winter pea in September. Winter pea grows on a vine, similar to vetch. This cold-hardy, annual legume can provide lots of residue, but may decompose quickly because of the high nitrogen con…

2 min read

Cover Crops: Other Options

Canola/Rapeseed
Brassica napus: Canola/rapeseed is a winter annual. Producers should plant canola between September and early October when soil temperatures are between 45 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Because brassicas grow rapidly and produ…

2 min read

Cover Crops: Cereals

Black Oat
Avena strigosa: Black oat is a winter annual cereal that provides great weed control, especially against broadleaf weeds. Plant black oats in late September to October. It is an excellent cover crop for nematode and weed control….

2 min read

Billboards Say Eat Better, Move More, Make A Change

Eat Better. Move More. Make a Change. Three key messages featured across Alabama billboards in 2017. Alabama Extension’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–Education (SNAP-Ed) created a series of billboards to create appeal for…

2 min read