MARC has been involved in growing a 3-way mixture of Crimson Clover, Daikon Radish, and Rye Grass for cover cropping.
Maryland is amongst the leaders in planting cover crops across the USA. MD Department of Agriculture provides a small reimbursement to farmers who plant cover crops because they help to maintain healthy watershed into the Chesapeake Bay.
Below you will find some descriptions of the biological and ecological processes that are a component of each type of cover crop that MARC has used.
Crimson Clover: a nitrogen fixing. Takes nitrogen from the air and soil and captures it in the soil.
Daikon Radish: long root vegetable which can grow deep into the soil to aerate the soil, large leaves provide a literal cover for the soil which can help prevent soil erosion. The radishes are then allowed to die off after the frost, and the nutrients from the radish and absorbed into the soil to make it more fertile for the next crop.
Ryegrass: sends out fibrous roots just below the surface which helps break up the soil and aerate it. This should come up first, and make the soil friable. Which allows for better seed to soil contact for the next crop.
10 acres of cover crops are typically planted here at MARC.