Who would think that such a beautiful field of vetch and rye has a dark side?
I know you are thinking this is a pun, with the dark side being the soil organic matter that these covers are improving but that’s not it. These covers are beasts. The wet weather makes it difficult to incorporate these on a timely basis and makes the farmer’s annual stress over spring bed preparation much worse. Here Jon consult with the soil to see if it is dry enough to till without causing damage to the soil or the marriage and worries about the next rain. Those of us who care about soil stewardship have to appreciate farmers like Jon (Lisa Haynes, Bob Bracket, Allen Williams, Marty Gray, Stan Shutte, and Henry Brockman to name a few) who continue to grow cover crops in these wild weather times.
Joel Gruver and his students have bios of many cover crop innovators up at the following site..http://www.mccc.msu.edu/innovators.html check it out.