[Market-farming] sorghum-sudan grass as cover crop

Tradingpost tradingpost at gilanet.com
Tue Jul 20 00:33:28 EDT 2004


Those who want to can do the ammonia nitrate, but should consider the side effects: chemicals tend to suppress microbial populations needed to convert that organic matter into usable humus and that feed those nutrients to plant roots.  The nitrogen rush also tends to stimulate weak, rapid growth that's more susceptible to disease and pests, requiring more expense for pesticides, etc. etc. and you have the standard vicious circle that's called industrial agriculture with all its problems. There's nothing new or questionable about this. It's old news and it's hard science. 

BTW fertilizers come from natural gas, pesticides from petroleum, and have you checked the prices lately? If you doubt that it's gone past the point of economic feasibility, check the futures prices of gas and oil stocks. 

paul at largocreekfarms.com
http://medicinehill.net
*********** REPLY SEPARATOR  ***********

On 7/19/2004 at 9:44 PM robert schuler wrote:

>Try mowing it down when its 3 ft tall then broadcast 50 pounds of ammonia
>nitrate 34-0-0 roughly $25 worth of N/acre and watch your organic matter
>double
>for the season. A nice way to convert chemical fertilizer into something
>usefull...Bob.
>
>Ken Bezilla wrote:
>
>> We grow sorghum/sudangrass as a summer cover crop.  We disc it under when
>> it's still green; if we get to it while it's still 5-6' tall, the discer
>can
>> still handle it, but taller than that (it can get up to 8' tall here in a
>> summer with decent rain) and the discer can't handle it, and it has to
>get
>> plowed under...
>>
>> Ken Bezilla
>> East Wind Community
>> southern Missouri, zone 6b
>>
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