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May is here. Planting season is upon us. Calves are out, pastures are green. With spring in full swing, it’s time to start planning for the summer season. Cowpeas, forage soybeans, millet, sorghum sudan, buckwheat – all species you might think about planting for a summer mix.  You might be wondering how much of each species to use and how a summer cover might fit in your rotation. That’s where we come in, offering easy to use pre-made mixes or helping design a custom mix just for you. In case you think we might be jumping the gun on all this talk of summer, remember that Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, is only 25 days away! 

Sunglasses for the Soil

Just like you wouldn’t leave your house without your ball cap or sunglasses during the summer months, don’t let your soil go without sun protection either. Our Summer Soil Armor mix offers a cost effective way to shield biology and moisture from the penetrating rays of the sun while maximizing photosynthetic potential to  collect those valuable rays and pump more carbon and nutrients into your soil. 

Defying the Fallow Fallacy

If you’re familiar with soil health, you’re probably familiar with the “Fallow Fallacy”. In fact, Green Cover hosted a webinar with Nicole Masters talking about this very subject. A common practice, especially in wheat country, a post-wheat fallow period leaves the soil bare, exposed to wind and water erosion along with scorching heat from the sun, all in an effort to conserve water. The drying effects from the wind and sun will actually form a crust on the soil, forcing much of the rain that does make it to the ground to run off, taking with it valuable topsoil. This reduces the amount of water in the soil that would be available for next year’s crop. Planting a cover crop, however, will improve water infiltration and create a buffer for the soil against the wind and sun. Additionally, the cover crop provides weed suppression to help fight noxious weeds without expensive chemicals. Our Post-Wheat Cover is designed with this exact situation in mind and can even be grazed if you have cattle nearby. 

Winter Grazing?

Wait, aren’t we talking about summer mixes? Yes, but when is the least efficient time to grow forage? The winter of course, which is why most people feed hay, or some sort of harvested plant biomass from the summer growing month. What if you could let the cows do the harvesting? That would definitely save some fuel costs. Even 30 extra days of grazing pasture or stockpiled residue could save you thousands in hay costs. So, instead of mechanically harvesting all of that summer grown biomass, consider planting a summer mix to save for stockpile grazing

Custom mixes are still our forte!

While these mixes are a great starting point and can work for a wide variety of situations, our specialty is still custom mixes. We are happy to customize any of these mixes to meet your specific needs. Give us a call at (402) 469-6784 or fill out this form today. We are excited to work with you this summer!


This article first appeared in our “Keepin’ You Covered” email newsletter where we share 1 soil health topic, 2 success stories and 3 learning opportunities.

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  • Kate Smith

    Kate is a big picture thinker, a bridge builder and a passionate soil health advocate. She grew up in rural southern Wisconsin and spent most of her time outdoors riding horses, working on various farming operations, and being with family. During this time Kate developed a deep appreciation for plants, animals, agriculture and natural resources. Kate pursued those passions at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln studying Animal Science and Grazing Livestock Systems. After earning her degrees, Kate married her best friend and started working full time for Green Cover as a Sales Representative, gaining experience as a cover crop expert. After a couple sales seasons, Kate jumped to the Marketing team to hone her creative writing and process organization skills. Kate and her husband, Ben now reside in the rolling hills of Green County, Wisconsin. When she's not writing stories and organizing systems, Kate enjoys spending time outdoors, with her family, and seeks every opportunity to visit a lake during the summer.

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