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April 13, 2014

Farmers strive for sustainability

(Continued)

Double cropping involves planting a small grain immediately following corn harvest and harvesting it for forage in the spring right before planting another crop. With uncertain weather and a constant need for feed, dairy farms are finding this bonus crop to be very useful.

Locally, winter rye has been the grain of choice for both cover crop and double crop options. Its ability to sprout quickly in the fall in cold temperatures, survive the harsh winter and quickly start growing in the spring makes it the ideal choice.

Both of these practices are beneficial for the soil, the farmer and the environment. By growing more feed locally, feeding and improving the soil and protecting the environment, local farms both big and small can become more sustainable and successful as farming continues to become more and more challenging.

For more information about cover crops or double-cropping options, contact Cornell Cooperative Extension at 561-7450 or email phh7@cornell.edu.

Peter Hagar, agriculture educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension Clinton County, 6064 Route 22, Suite 5, Plattsburgh, 12901. Phone 561-7450 or email Phh7@cornell.edu. 

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