Cover crops are becoming more fashionable and so they should be for very good reasons. The current Organic Matters magazine has got a good article summarising “The art and science of cover cropping.” You can find it on our website under interesting articles to read.
This time I would like to share with you what Kiwi Seed have been up to in last couple years.
Being a small seed company, we purchase seed on the free market, but we also produce and contract our own seed lots. Mainly small niche products that bigger companies don`t seem to worry about.
Mixed species pastures, perennial swards, beneficial insect blends and cover cropping with up to 25 different species are not unusual for us. These types of mixes leave our store on a regular basis. We have had so much positive feedback from all over the country, which proves we are on the right path.
Bruce and I have been working for years on our seed production system to see if we can incorporate some of what we have learned from cover cropping and mixed species pastures by intercropping.
Last year we grew a paddock of crimson clover for seed locally, which let me tell you is a very beautiful sight once in full flower. Thanks to intercropping and grazing through the winter, only 1 grass herbicide had been used during the entire crop cycle. The clover was harvested before Christmas and got resown in January with Buckwheat – yes again for seed production.
The Buckwheat paddock came up beautifully, no fertiliser applied as there was plenty N available from the clover. No herbicides where applied as small clover seedlings from shattered seed took over and outcompeted other weeds. The paddock has been cut instead of being stopped with desiccant and is being harvested as I am writing this newsletter.
On my last visit I noted more clover seedling and some buckwheat had already germinated underneath the windrows. I think we are going for another round of crimson clover in companion with Buckwheat in this paddock.
I better get going – got to drop out the secondhand bags to the farmer to bring in this buckwheat for seed cleaning. My little ones would be so proud of her mommy to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Kiwi Seed - Seed for Life