“Ideally you’ll prioritize seeding [cover crops] early—you have to hustle, but sometimes it doesn’t happen until later than you’d like,” says Keith Van Waardhuizen (Far right in photo) of Oskaloosa, Iowa. Keith prefers drilling for seeding cereal rye, but he pivots to broadcast seeding rye when he is under a time crunch.
Seeding with speed: Keith uses a Mobility spreader with an orbit motor. Keith alters the spreader adjustments to seed about 60 pounds of rye per acre, and the 40-foot boom enables him to seed at 10-12 miles per hour and cover roughly 35 acres an hour. Plus, “unlike the drill,” he says, “nothing is breaking or wearing out.”
Alternatives for incorporation: After broadcasting Keith lets cattle out to graze corn residue or applies hog manure. “The hooves of the stock cows, or the honey wagon knives and wheels help us get better seed-to-soil contact,” explains Keith.
Benefits of spring cover: “You don’t get as much growth with seeding late, but the green plants out there in the spring really help with those big spring rains that we keep getting,” says Keith. “I wouldn’t be scared to plant it yet this year,” he adds.