Jamie Scott includes a diverse mix of cover crops after wheat as one way to build soil health quickly.
“We are a big fan of diversity,” Scott says. “We can get 15 or 16 different cover crop species into a three-year cycle and put a lot of root structure into the soil. You’ve got grass, legumes, brassicas, warm-season species and cool-season plants that hit that field in a three-year cycle. Add corn, beans and wheat, and that’s three more species.”
“When you walk across the plots, you feel the difference,” Scott says. “We had a visitor recently and where the cocktail mix was, the guy said, ‘this is like walking with a shag carpet with a thick pad under it.’ Where the single species was, he said, ‘this is like Astroturf carpet.’ On the bare ground, he said, ‘this is like concrete.'”