Naked fields are scattered throughout the landscape in Kankakee County. The topsoil is revealed for every passerby, neighbor and fellow farmer to see. Within a sea of residue or shades of green, indecent soil stands out. But if it’s your land that is exposed, you can view it as an opportunity for growth and improvement instead of an eyesore.
Why should we be working towards clothing our soils? We know that keeping fields covered is great for the environment, but the benefits tally even higher for the farmer. A practice that more producers are implementing is the use of cover crops, like cereal rye and radish. Cover crops have been shown to increase organic matter, aid in weed control and increase water filtration into the soil.
Planted in the “off season”, cover crops boast tremendous benefits for soil health. Healthy soils are a microscopic jungle, alive with biodiversity that boosts nutrient cycling and promotes successful yields. Cover crops a