Frost seeding clover

With the snow beginning to melt and spring just around the corner, it’s time to begin thinking about seeding your clover cover crops on the frost for your winter grains. Clover is still one of the most beneficial cover crops to use when you have a winter grain crop. Thompsons Agronomy has put together some tips to help achieve good success when frost seeding clover.

Why clover?

  • Establishes and maintains growth under low light and under competition for other crops
  • Well adapted to all of Ontario
  • Has an extensive root system with a tap root that can work though compacted layers and extensive lateral roots in the top 6” of soil which contributes to good structure and tilth
  • Provide nitrogen credits to the following crops
  • Termination of the crop is relatively easy with proper tillage and/or herbicides

Species selection

Generally Red Clovers are used (single or double cut) because the seed is dense, which improves seed-soil contact, it germinates at low temperatures and has high seedling vigor, allowing it to start growing early in the spring. Double cut is ideal if you are looking for the maximum nitrogen credit or are wanting to graze/bale the crop for feed as it is more vigorous in the seeding year. Single cut clovers put more emphasis on root growth and are consider better at soil conditioning. Other options are alfalfa, sweet clover, or various mixes (45% single/double and 10% sweet clover).
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Grain analyst warns of leaner years ahead for Ontario growers

By Blair Andrews, QMI Agency

The next few years will be leaner when it comes to grain prices, a market analyst for an international feed and grain company warned Thursday at the Chatham-Kent Farm Show.

Bruce Trotter based his sobering outlook on a few factors, including lower growth expectations for China and the ethanol industry.

Trotter, who works in Blenheim as the managing director for the Canadian branch of Dutch-based Cefetra, said the era from 2006 to 2011 was a time of rising land prices and better crop margins driven by bio-fuel mandates and very high growth in China.

But the mandated growth in ethanol and bio-diesel is over, and he described the most recent years as an “ethanol hangover.” Read more