It’s not too early to start thinking about your cover crop plans this fall. Are you planning to plough or Synkro/Lemken in late August or early September? Then there is lots of time to establish a cover crop for the winter that will protect the soil, increase bioactivity in the soil, and improve soil organic matter. Plus, you have lots of options for beneficial fall cover crops that will establish before the snow flies while not regrowing in the spring to make preparation for potato planting easy. I will have more information on some of these options in short order.
However, I wanted to highlight a program available from the PEI Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries. The Soil Management: Tillage Timing of Forages (with cover crop) BMP program provides $25/acre up to a max of $500 per field and $2,000 per year for eligible expenses to assist with establishing a cover crop following tillage of a forage crop, provided that the cover crop can adequately establish before winter. For more information on this program, please contact Kyra Stiles, PEIDAF at 316-1600 or [email protected]
Also, the PEIDAF still has a program to assist with use of winter cereals following potato harvest as a winter cover crop. $25/acre up to a max of $500 per field (and $1,000/year) is available for this program. Again, contact Kyra Stiles for more details. Past studies have shown that winter rye will establish up to Oct. 15, and other cereals like oats and barley can serve as effective cover crops for potato fields harvested in September. Let’s get more of our fields covered this winter!
Source: Potato Agronomy