Local Farmers Learn About Cover Crops Project. And You Can Watch It Grow All Summer.

April 26, 2021

Local farmers recently attended a Cover Crops and Soil Moisture Field Day  in Oak Grove.

Cover crops are part of a sustainable agricultural system to help protect soil erosion, keep nutrients in place and build valuable organic matter.

Cover crops are plants that help to protect the soil from wind, rainfall, and sunlight. Cover crops provide improvement of the soil composition, soil structure and organic matter content, water infiltration, root penetration, and nutrient recycling. Additional benefits include reducing erosion, water runoff, and nutrient leaching. Cover crops enhance soil fertility via improved nutrient retention, organic matter, and cycling, while leguminous cover crops add nitrogen from the atmosphere.

Sam and Scott Walker started a 10-month long cover crop and soil moisture project at their farm back in November. The field was planted with “Florida 401″ rye grass. Six soil moisture probes were places in the field to monitor soil moisture through the winter season. Individuals driving by the field, just south of the Oak Grove Baptist Church, may have noticed the probes and flags.

For a photo gallery, click here.

Last week, about two dozen producers gathered in the field to learn about the project and see the latest machinery and hear updates from industry expects. They watched as new equipment was used to flatten the rye grass field, preparing it for planting.

The probes will be returned to the field once it is planted in cotton. Passersby will be able to see the progress at the northeast corner of North Highway 99 and Melvin Road in Oak Grove.

“This dryland field will be managed as the Walkers see fit. The probes will give a longer term view of soil moisture in the plots, and each plot will be harvested to determine yield,” said Libbie Johnson from UF/IFAS Extension Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

Pictured: A Cover Crops and Soil Moisture Field Day on North Highway 99 in Oak Grove. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.


2 Responses to “Local Farmers Learn About Cover Crops Project. And You Can Watch It Grow All Summer.”

  1. Africa on April 27th, 2021 12:01 pm

    Cover crop helps to mend soil fertility and pest control. Cover crops, eg corn and soybean in rotation it soil pH stable. Soybean maintain hydrogen in the soil and build hydrogen into the soil that has less hydrogen for the plant growth.
    Cover crops reduce the use of chemical fertilizers in farm rotation for quality and high yield.

  2. Carlos Brigard on April 26th, 2021 10:13 am

    I think without cover crops in the future will be imposible to have sustainable farming, that’s the only way yo keep soil health

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