Cover cropping is a method of planting that helps build healthy soil and can be practiced in any farming operation. Cover crops add organic matter to the soil and contribute nitrogen slowly, giving plants the nitrogen they need while not resulting in waste and ultimately, nitrogen runoff and emissions. They also act as an incredible mulch, attract pollinator wildlife and other beneficial insects, and reduce soil erosion. Cover crops keep the ground covered and help with continued carbon sequestration in non-production areas. They significantly reduce emissions from nitrogen fertilizers by providing healthy nutrients to the soil. When carefully chosen and managed properly, cover crops can benefit production for farmers and help mitigate climate change.
About Hermann Bruns
Hermann has 24 years of intensive Organic vegetable and herb production experience on a 25-acre family farm with 10 seasonal employees including 26,000 sq.ft. of high tunnels. They do innovative season extension, pest and weed techniques, and experiment with cover cropping. Through the course of the season, they use a few different cover crops including an underseeded annual ryegrass, a pea/oat/hairy vetch mixture as a main green manure crop, and fall rye. This year, they are also experimenting with Berseem clover. Hermann is the former director of COABC and former president of the Organic Federation of Canada. He and his wife Louise operate Wild Flight Farm, a 25-acre farm established in 1993 along the Shuswap River in Mara, BC.
About Kevin Elmy
Kevin is a third-generation farmer who started researching better ways to farm in 1999. In 2000, he and his family started using soil health principles on their farm, and in 2009, they started using cover crops. By building healthy soil, they have been able to reduce synthetic inputs to the land dramatically while maintaining yields. Kevin runs Cover Crops Canada, helping boost producer profitability and environmental sustainability by strengthening soil properties by creating friendly microbial soil conditions by growing diverse crop mixtures. At Cover Crops Canada, he observes the rotational, biological, nutritional, and economical benefits of the use of cover cropping in grain and livestock operations to reduce production and financial risk to producers.