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NC State Extension

Managing Cover Crops for Mountains

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Mountains: Have more clay, Requires Cold tolerance/ winter hardiness, Hessian fly issue

Fall/Winter crops Spring/Summer crops
Legumes Common vetch ( more and earlier growth than hairy vetch in winter, suited to all well drained coarse and fine textured soils) Cowpeas
Hairy vetch (more winter hardy than crimson clover and winter peas) Soybeans (Better aggregation- enhanced water infiltration)

Crimson clover

(suited to well drained soils, tolerant acidity)

Sunn hemp (Better aggregation- enhanced water infiltration)
Balansa clover (most winter hardy, not suited to sandy soils)
White lupine ( more winter hardy than blue lupine)
Winter peas (prone to nematodes/pathogens, prone to freeze damage, but can be used if planted early in winter before frost)
Small grains Oats (less susceptible to hessian fly, more biomass than wheat) Sorghum sudangrass ( greater density, height- wind erosion control, than all millets) 
Barley ( similar biomass as oats, but prone to hessian fly) Sorghum ( produce good biomass with late summer plantings before frost)
Cereal rye Pearl millet (suppresses nematodes, more acid tolerant)
Annual ryegrass
Wheat ( prone to hessian fly, less biomass than oats, triticale and cereal rye)
Brassicas Daikon radish (can scavenge high residual N if present in soil)
Other brassicas (Canola, Turnips, Kale, Collards, Mustards)
Broadleaf plants Sunflower