Multi-species cover cropping provide environmental and financial benefits

26 July 2017

On Friday 21st July 2017, the Port Phillip & Westernport CMA, in partnership with Agriculture Victoria, held a multi-species cover cropping workshop in Myrniong.

20 participants heard from expert speakers Graeme Hand (Stipa Association) and Colin Seis (farmer and farm consultant) on the benefits of multi-species cover cropping and pasture cropping.

Benefits to cover cropping include improved soil health, 100% ground cover year round and increased profits. Participants learnt that cover cropping uses an annual crop to create mulch, control weeds and improve soil health.

Designing a multi-species annual cover crop means incorporating a mix of cereals, brassica and legumes according to winter or summer sowing. For perennial cover cropping, the perennial grass is the cover zero till a crop into the dormant summer grass. The crops are terminated by grazing or crimp rolling the crop.
Graeme summarises why monitoring for soil health and landscape function is important in this short video.

Many thanks to Agriculture Victoria for partnering with the PPWCMA to deliver this workshop. The farmers found it extremely valuable and enjoyed the expert information from Graeme and Colin. One farmer said “many thanks for organising such a great learning day. From start to finish, so informative! Colin and Graeme’s information is critically valuable!”

A follow up farm walk at a second trial site will be held in spring.

Workshop presentations

Multi Species Cover Cropping – Graeme’s presentation (PDF – 968KB)

Multi Species Cover Cropping – Colin’s presentation (PDF – 999KB)