It’s still not too late to consider starting a cover crop on your acreage this year. In fact, August may be an ideal time to broadcast seed.
In years past, the use of fixed wing aircraft to apply seed has been increasingly popular. Fast and effective, you can put seed on 1500 acres in a day if you have the seed located close to your fields.
Jamie Scott owns a 2000 acre farm and he started using annual ryegrass more than 10 years ago. He now helps newcomers get seed on their field by contracting the purchase and application of seed by plane. This year, his company arranged for more than 100,000 acres of cover crop seed to fields owned by more than 400 growers.
Here is a quick reference guide to questions about application by plane.Scott said that the cost is comparable to broadcasting seed with high clearance equipment or by drilling after harvest. The advantage of aerial application is that you fly it on before harvest, rather than afterwards. That gives you at least an additional month for the cover crop to establish.
The proper time to apply seed depends on a few things – crop maturity is the most important. Condition of the soil and the amount of rainfall are the others.
Or, you can also download a management brochure that explains elements of the process.
In the end, knowing someone who applies cover crops each year is a good resource for getting answers that will pertain to your farm.