Fall Cover Crops

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 Cover crops are a crop planted primarily to enhance and manage soil fertility, soil quality and tilth, enhances water holding capacity as well as help reduce weeds, pests, and diseases competition. Cover crops are of interest in sustainable agriculture as many of them improve the sustainability of agro-ecosystem attributes and may also indirectly improve qualities of neighboring natural ecosystems. Farmers choose to grow and manage specific cover crop types based on their own needs and goals.

Cover Crop Advantage

  • Improve soil quality
  • Increase organic matter
  • Reduce soil erosion
  • Reduce soil compaction
  • Supply nitrogen
  • Decrease water runoff and Erosion
  • Conserve soil moisture
  • Suppress weed competition
  • Reduce nitrate leeching
What makes us Different

At Parker Seed Company, we take a different approach to cover crops than other companies or organizations. We believe a cover crop should be designed to meet the producers need and production goals. It should be designed for easy planting as well as the products/varieties utilized in the blend should be locally adapted to the location planted. We do not promote, highly diverse blends. Instead we promote common sense /agronomically correct blends.

The whole problem with the cover crop market today is everyone is continuously trying to re-create the wheel. When the wheel has been created for centuries. The fact is cover crops are not a new idea or concept, farmers and ranchers have utilized cover crops either directly or indirectly for centuries.  

It is important to remember the goal of an agriculture producer is to find "balance" in the practices he or she choose to adopt, he must be efficient, sustainable and most of all do what  he/she can to protect and secure our lands and resources for generations to come.

Common Sense Cover Crop Blends

A common sense cover crop blend is just as it sounds, simply common sense. They are nothing special, they are simple not exotic and most of all productive. The concept behind these blends is that you match varieties/species to provide specific services without completely reducing or diluting the main service producers are trying to achieve. We attempt to match products that have similar growth rates, seed size and varieties that complement each other, not out compete each other. In addition, the varieties utilized in our blends are selected based on the specific soil type and soil pH, rainfall conditions as well as cold tolerance of the location the crop is to be planted. The fact exists, that we can’t efficiently or economically develop a blend that can truly provide every service. We urge producers to choose 1 or 2 main services and focus on doing these services well.   

When we develope our blends we take into consideration the following factors.

  • Overall use and production goals of the producer. 
  • Soil type, soil pH, over all soil fertility
  • Geographical location
  • Planting method-(conventional or no-till)
  • Method and timing of termination- (Mechanicaly, Chemically, or through livestock grazing)
  • Past  pesticide program and fertility program
  • Previous crop as well as following crop to be planted
  • Producers budget

Fall Cover crop  blends

Grazing Blends

Grazing blends in short are truly just as they sound, they are designed for livestock grazing. These blends are designed not only to provide outstanding forage, but enhance soil organic matter, improve soil tilth, as well as provide spring cover to help suppress early weed competition. In addition, the products utilized in these blends are selected based on soil type, soil pH as well as geographical location. The products utilized in the blends are all university and locally tested and proven throughout our marketing area.  

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Green Manur/ Plowdown Blends

Bio-Crop Fall Blend is designed to provide maximum biomass production to help aid in improving soil organic matter, soil tilth, assist in nutrient management and recycling. This blend is adapted to a wide variety of soil type and conditions, but does not perform well in waterlogged soils. It is possibly the most widely adapted product within our Bio-Crop product line.

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Cover Plus (Vineyard/Orchards) Blends

Cover plus vineyard and orchard floor blend is a low growing cover crop blend, designed especially for vineyard and orchard floor management. These blends will assist in reducing soil compaction, suppress weed pressure in the spring as well as aid in attracting beneficial insects. In addition, the clover/medics in the blend will provide nitrogen for future use, many of the products utilized have strong re-seeding traits.

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Nem-4 Mustard Blend

Nem-4 Mustard Blend is a blend of annual mustards, designed to attract beneficial insects, enhance soil organic matter, aid in weed suppression through both direct competition as well as allelopathic processes. The deep taproot of these mustard varieties will also assist improving soil tilth as well as increase water penetration. In addition the varieties utilized in the blend are known to possess high level of glucosinolates which act a natural bio-fumigant to assist or reduce or suppress many soil born pest including nematode and fungi.

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There are wedge lines of redwood from the historic Schwann Mansion in Santa Cruz and from MMA fighter Gray Maynard's house in Capitola, California.

The fin is made from cocobolo and rosewood from the Santa Cruz Guitar Company. It also incorporates redwood reclaimed from John Steinbeck's house in Pacific Grove, California.

Images by Ventana Surf.

Fall Cover crop  Product List/ usage Chart

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Please click on the name of the variety below to review tech sheet