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 biomass levels. Consider the planting date, as it is critical for proper development. Plant winter covers at least 2 to 4 weeks before the average killing frost. Plant summer covers when soil temperatures are suitable and moisture is in the forecast.
In order to maximize biomass production for cover crops, maintaining soil fertility is important. Maintain potassium and phosphorus according to soil test recommendations. For cereal cover crops, supplemental nitrogen may be recommended.