We took a big step backwards with weather this morning. I had 14 degrees at home. Ground was froze 2 inches deep where I had set some pocket gopher traps. I was feeling optimistic that if we missed the brunt of this cold we might get in the field by the end of the week. Not only did we get the cold, the forecast has measurable snow in it. The purgatory of spring. So it goes.
Assuming it ever does warm up, we are looking at making some changes on the farm. The CCSP board has been a fan of cover crops for quite some time, and I am hoping to do some more work with them on the CCSP farm. There are a million different directions to go with the process. I was talking with one of the board members last night and he really wants to move his farm to a “24/7” live root system. We could add this to the CCSP farm in our switch grass plot. This is not a new concept, but the plan would go like this. We use a typical burndown of Roundup, Valor, and 24-D early while the switch grass is dormant, and then plant peas. We could possibly knock back but not kill the switch with various products like Select. Once the peas are harvested, the switch grass comes on maintaining cover and keeping the live root going. Other ideas we talked about were how to seed a cover crop along with the cash crop, but delay germination by seed coat, chemical, or other processes. We are not sure what is available out there, but I have found out that if you talk to enough people and go through enough research, it is amazing what you can find, and of course we are not the only ones with the same interest. If anyone reading this has any ideas, please let us know!
CCSP Farm Manager