By Anne Verhallen, Soil Management Specialist (Horticulture)
As early and mid-season vegetable crops are harvested take the opportunity to build your soil through planting cover crops. You may be wondering about trying a new cover crop. Now there is a new on-line tool available to help you decide.
Ontario has worked with the Midwest Cover Crop Council (MCCC) to develop a Cover Crop Decision Tool. The tool allows you to select a cover crop based on what’s important to you (county, soil type, objective –building soil organic matter, alleviating compaction, minimizing wind or water erosion, forage, etc.) and provides your top cover crop species. Each cover crop has a profile, specific to Ontario, that outlines how to grow the cover crop and its’ potential benefits and limitations, so you can make informed decisions.
The tool was developed by an Ontario team of cover crop experts including farmers, university researchers, OMAFRA staff, crop advisors, and seed suppliers to provide options for your growing region. The tool is available at http://decision-tool.incovercrops.ca/. It’s quick and easy to use, so next time you are surfing the net, check it out. And if you have any suggestions or for more information, please email either Anne Verhallen (firstname.lastname@example.org ) or Laura Van Eerd (email@example.com ).