Cover Crops Case Studies: JenEhr Family Farm


Author(s) Christopher Anderson, Diane Mayerfeld.

The drought has left many Wisconsin growers short on forage to feed their animals. As a consequence of this and other factors, many folks are considering re-purposing their cover crops as forage crops. It's important that growers know what herbicides and other pesticides were used in their corn and soybean to ensure when future crops can be planted. It is illegal to plant forage crops prior to the lapse of recrop intervals stated on the previous crops' pesticide labels. If these restrictions are not followed, herbicide residues could appear in the food system. In this podcast discussion, UW-Extension agronomist Vince Davis explains this issue in greater detail.

Wisconsin is seeing a renewed interest in planting cover crops to prevent soil erosion, retain or add nutrients, reduce pest pressures, and improve soil tilth. Farmers and educators are asking questions about which cover crops to plant, how to fit them into different cropping systems, and what equipment is needed to plant and manage them. This case study presents the experience of a Wisconsin vegetable farmer who has been growing cover crops for more than ten years. Paul Ehrhardt describes what benefits he receives from growing cover crops, explains his philosophy of cover crop use, and tells what cover crop strategies have worked on the organic farm where he raises vegetables, fruit, and pastured poultry (4 pages; 2011).