The Difference That Covercrops Make

The difference that cover crop makes.

Over the last several years, I have written several times about our covercrop program. I’ve been very pleased with our results, and this morning I can share some tangible proof of the change in soil structure that we have experienced. The “moon rock” on the left was typical of the soil in our “Block A” as of 2008. Very hard, compacted adobe.  I hung on to it to for future reference. The dirt on the left came from just a few feet away, but I scooped it up with a paper cup this morning. This is the difference of several years of managing for soil structure. It took some time, gypsum, steer manure and a palette of cover crops that included mustards, oilseed radish, clovers, vetch, barley, rye, buckwheat and fava beans. But the improvement is dramatic. I feel very confident in our ability to keep this soil viable for the next century of farming in Ventura County.

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