Seeding Methods

What is the best option to seed cover crops in each field? Explore the pros and cons of drilling or broadcasting cover crops and how each method impacts seeding rates. Balance labor, time and equipment availability with stand expectations to optimize stand, ground cover and biomass production.

Timing and System Fit

Ideal timing to seed cover crops depends on average growing season length, crop rotation, species and conditions for germination and establishment. Cash crop harvest timing could also impact cover crop seeding. Consider how interseeding into standing crops compares to seeding following harvest.

Seeding Rates

Cover crop seeding rates vary based on seeding method, timing and management goals. Rates also vary for single species covers compared to rates used in mixes. Check out formulas and tools to determine how much seed to use.

Equipment Insight

You can seed cover crops with existing equipment like drills, planters, spreaders or high-clearance sprayers, depending on the chosen method. Sometimes custom modifications like those described in the linked resources improve efficiency or seed-to-soil contact. While perfecting equipment includes trial and error, insight from other cover croppers provides ideas for what may work best in your system.