Video Clip: Drilled Field Peas and Broadcast Oats from Vegetable Farmers and their Innovative Cover Cropping Techniques


Farmers and their Innovative Cover Cropping Techniques [DVD]. V. Grubinger. 2006. University of Vermont Extension. Available for purchase from: 31 Dec 2008).

This is a Vegetable Farmers and their Innovative Cover Cropping Techniques video clip.


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Lou Johns and Robin Ostfeld, Blue Heron Farm. Lodi, NY.

Audio Text

These are oats and field peas that were planted about mid April. They fit in to our cropping scheme, because we grow a lot of late fall harvested crops. They’re harvested in late October or November when it’s too late to establish a rye and vetch cover crop. So they’re left open over the winter and as early in the spring as possible we get the oats and field peas on. The oats are broadcast just by hand. We put the oats in a bucket and we use other small grains that we might have around. We walk down the tire tracks and throw handful and directly apply them to the bed. Then the peas are drilled with our four row Planet Jr. seeder - the reason we do that is because the peas need to be drilled more deeply than the oats and the peas seed needs to be economized because it’s quite expensive, so we like to plant just the four rows rather than broadcast the peas over the bed. The oats are incorporated before we drill the peas. By drilling the peas with the seed drill, we are planting them directly where the vegetable crops will be planted, so the nitrogen is right where it needs to be. The pea seed is inoculated before planting. We like to let it get at least a foot high, then we mow with the flail mower that chops it up and makes it break down more quickly so it’s incorporated more easily. Then we’ll use the rotovator and till it under. Normally the succession that we use because these beds would be ready to be plant in July, is then we would follow it with transplanted Brassica like broccoli or cabbage without any additional compost being needed.

This video project was funded in part by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (USDA).

Published June 15, 2011

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