Planting crops is continually undergoing a revolution. Witness the rapid development of Real Time Kinetic Global Positioning Systems (RTK-GPS), described in our October, 2010 cover story. But some revolutions might seem like they are going backwards and growing cover crops might appear to be one of those technologies. Long touted by organic crop producers who were avoiding the use of “chemical” fertilizers, the use of cover crops is now being embraced by mainstream farmers for any number of reasons, including a desire to reduce the use of those expensive fertilizers.
But there are other benefits as well, such as better test weights, yields, and even a better nutritional analysis on the field crop that is harvested. That story, by Mary Baxter, starts on page 14.