Video: Wheat as a Cover Crop

The Details

This field was seeded to wheat on September 10th at 1 bushel per acre. Previously, the field was in corn and next year they will be growing vegetables. 

Wheat: The "Cover Crop of Last Resort"

According to Dan Perkins and Barry Fisher, wheat is somewhat of a "cover crop of last resort." Planting wheat is certainly better than planting nothing at all. However, there are two reasons wheat is a less desirable cover crop:

  1. It often carries some of the same diseases as corn and therefore can act as a "green bridge" from one crop to another. 
  2. Wheat roots do not penetrate as deeply into the soil as a crop like cereal rye. Therefore, compaction zones may remain in tact if wheat is the only cover crop planted. 

There are, however, two big reasons why farmers plant wheat on a regular basis: it's typically inexpensive; and it's usually readily available. 

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