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Cover Crop Guide

MGF Cover Crops

Cover crops continue to gain popularity in the Midwest as more and more producers are experiencing the benefits firsthand. Cover crop success can vary greatly by operation. The most successful cover croppers will often admit that it takes time to learn how to manage and succeed with cover crops! MGF recommends that first time cover croppers start small and avoid seeding cover crops on more than 10% of your operation the first year. We also encourage producers to commit to managing cover crops on the same field for at least 3 consecutive years in order to see the most benefit!


A few things to consider before choosing to plant a cover crop include:

  • What benefits am I hoping to see?

  • How will I apply the seed?

  • Will the herbicide that I used inhibit cover crop success?

  • How will I terminate or manage the cover crop the next year?

  • Will my cash crop planting and harvest dates allow successful cover crop establishment?

  • How will I measure success?

Cover crop graphic

Tips for success:

  • Plan ahead! Those with a solid plan (and even a back up or two for weather) have the most success! Call us to schedule an appointment with one of our agronomists!

  • Use quality seed! Make sure what you are seeding is cleaned and tested, otherwise you may be adding things to your fields that you do not want!

  • Make sure the seed goes to the right place (seed-to-soil contact) at the right time! Consider using planes or drones if needed!

  • Work with your ag retailer to make sure your herbicide plan will not impact your cover crop establishment!

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