Cover Crops

Cover Crops provide environmental and agronomic benefits. Cover Crops are a part of the 1st Choice Seeds Ultimate Profit System (UPS) strategy to help farmers raise more bushels per acre. Farms win economically, agronomically, and environmentally when yields are increased because they implement a well-planned Cover Crop strategy.

Cover Crops improve soil structure, increase organic matter, and loosen tight soils. Cover Crops can scavenge nutrients in the soils and make them available for next season’s crop. Some species can produce Nitrogen and provide an N credit for the following season’s crop. The environment is improved with a winter ground cover that reduces the opportunity for wind and soil erosion.

1st Choice Seeds provides high quality Cover Crop seeds along with the service and expertise needed to manage them. We provide our own proprietary mixes like Earth Reserve, NBank, and LandCache.   We have custom blending capabilities for unique solutions on specific fields and management practices.

Cover Crop Characteristics


Options key:

  • Ratings:
  • Below Average: 0-4
  • Average: 5
  • Good: 6
  • Very Good: 7
  • Excellent: 8
  • Superior: 9-10
Variety Soil Builder Soil Cover Soil Conditioner Forage Value N Scavenger N Production Ease of Termination
1st Choice Seeds Earth Reserve Mix 6 8 9 8 8 0 10
1st Choice Seeds NBank Mix 7 7 7 9 7 8 8
1st Choice Seeds LandCache Mix 8 9 9 9 7 6 6
1st Choice Seeds Cereal Rye 5 8 6 8 7 0 5
1st Choice Seeds Triticale 7 8 7 10 7 0 6

Soil Builder

Soil Builder category scores this variety’s ability to conserve and build the soils organic and biological matter if they are planted in the appropriate planting window leaving enough time to produce high amounts of biomass. Soil Builder scoring is a relative value against other Cover Crop menu choices.

 

Soil Cover

Rain and wind carry soil particles away. Winter and spring ground cover helps prevent soil erosion. Early spring soil cover also assist with early spring weed suppression. Soil Cover scoring is a relative value against other Cover Crop menu choices.

 

Soil Conditioner

Some Cover Crops can have aggressive and deep-rooting capabilities. Deep and fibrous roots loosen soils, helps alleviate compaction and improves drainage in your fields. Soil Conditioner scoring is a relative value against other Cover Crop menu choices.

 

Forage Value

Cover Crops can be used for forage even though forage is not the primary reason they are being grown. Seeded in the appropriate planting window and managed with forage in mind Cover Crops can add forage flexibility for the livestock farmer. Forage Value scoring is a relative value against other Cover Crop menu choices.

 

N Scavenger

Cover Crops capture and release nutrients that are left in the soil and crop residue after harvest. Cover Crops scavenge Nitrogen (N) and these other nutrients. Cover Crops can maximize this benefit and provide an N credit for a future crop. N Scavenger scoring is a relative value against other Cover Crop menu choices.

 

N Production

Legumes capture Nitrogen (N) from the air and store it in the plant tissue. Legumes also typically contain more N than grasses; they break down faster and they release their N and other nutrients quicker that other species. N Production scoring is a relative value against other Cover Crop menu choices.

 

Ease of Termination

Termination considerations involve numerous environmental factors. Some of these factors include growth stage, soil moisture and the growers’ herbicide strategy. Some species are easier to terminate than others. Ease of Termination is a relative value against other Cover Crop menu choices.