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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


"Soil is meant to be covered..." Jim Hoorman speaks about cover crops in soil health series

The Soil Health Series Live Stream July 13 episode was focused on cover crops. Jim Hoorman, Regional Soil Health Specialist with the Northeast Region NRCS-Soil Health Division, Ohio and Michigan was the featured guest with host Vinayak Shedekar and co-host Wayne Lewis, Farm Manager at the OSU South Centers.

"Soil is meant to be covered," said Hoorman. "Each cover crop is designed for a special purpose. Legume cover crops, for instance, are typically used to produce homegrown nitrogen. Grass cover crops are used to increase soil organic matter, recycle excess nutrients, and reduce soil compaction. Brassica covers are grown to loosen the soil, recycle nutrients, and suppress weeds and plant pathogens. Other covers are grown to suppress harmful insects or attract beneficial insects." 

The interview featured most common questions farmers may have about cover crops, such as: What are the most popular species of cover crops in our region? When can cover crops be planted? What species do best at what time of year planting? What are ways to terminate cover crops? and What are sources of cover crop seeds? 

The next episode of Soil Health Series will stream live on YouTube on August 10, in which we will continue discussion with Jim Hoorman on cover crops. Some of the topics that will be discussed are: How to plant cover crops, Equipment to drill between corn rows, and Use of custom applicators to seed cover crops.

The live stream will be available at: at 10AM on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017.