Oats and Barley − like many spring grains − are hardy, low-cost, reliable cover crops. They’re also a proven nurse crop for new seeding, as well as reliable grain performers.
Many farmers use these as a winter-kill cover or mulch, often to fix nitrogen and maximize the solar input and biological activity going into winter.
Like so many crops, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are the main nutrients for barley and oats. Of course, nitrogen is the leader of the pack. Oats need between 70 and 110 pounds per acre and barley between 50 and 110 pounds per acre, both depending on the percentage of organic matter remaining. And as an organic farmer, you probably have good organic matter. Or should.
But don’t ignore the lesser minerals. Zinc deficiency is one that takes many farmers by surprise. Not much zinc is needed, but if you’re deficient, your crop will suffer dramatically.
And if you’re deficient in anything, remember that you can’t just spread some 0-10-40 and be done. Organic farming, as you know, depends more on preparation than repair.
Using Purple Cow products helps you quickly re-establish communities of beneficial soil biology, reintroducing or multiplying the microbes that change nutrients to forms available to your plants, and also help the roots absorb the nutrients and carbon at critical times during establishment and plant development.
Fall applications of Purple Cow soil-corrective and crop-fertility nutrients, along with carbon and biolife (biology), prepares your soil for early warm-up. Maximum crop-residue reduction allows you in the field as early as possible for spring planting. Adding Purple Cow liquids during the vegetative growth stages produces thick stands that are better able to reduce weed pressure while maximizing yield and quality.
Purple Cow has spent years developing our own unique, organic solutions for crop-specific applications. Contact us and we’ll be glad to share more details about how our products can be the solutions you need for your soil, your crop and your farm.