Steve Groff – Lancaster County, Penn.

Steve Groff – Lancaster County, Penn.


My farm is in southeastern, Pennsylvania farm about 225 acres Corn soybeans wheat? of 25 acres of pumpkins 2 acres of high tunnel Tomatoes of the corn Bean and wheat acres about a hundred acres of that is now Dedicated to cover crop research. I started doe tilling back in the 1980s and Saw the benefits of that primarily Reduce soil erosion on my farm because I have hilly land then in the 90s it started getting interested in cover crops more intentionally and then as I worked with the University of Maryland and we Discovered these radishes that what eventually became tillage radish It really opened my eyes up to what cover crops can do for my fields and my farm and then Now providing seeds for other farmers. I’d like to emphasize the power of diversity That’s kind of like the tip of the spear in the hole cover crop movement when I say that I’m saying diversity of species When we grow our cash crops a little difficult to grow multiple species of cash crop But we have that window of opportunity for cover crops There we can do it we can put it in there, and it wakens up biology. That’s an easy way to say To say it But it’s something happens there that really helps to to give a benefit our soil health within In turn allows us to grow a better ground when you bring cover crops into the equation of your farm You are adding another level of management the farmer needs to embrace that if he’s going to be successful You need to educate yourself you learn What do so yes it requires investment of your time requires an investment of money to buy the seeds? But that we’ve been showing some economic values economic returns a little hard identifying cover crops But nonetheless we can measure soil organic matter increasing and we have measured yield increases cover crops that are managed correctly and so forth so Just the very fact that cover crops are spreading literally around the world is kind of another indication There’s got a lot of momentum out there. We can’t always pin down how they work Why they work to what degree they work, but we know generally they’re working You

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