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Crimping Cover Crops to Grow Alfalfa

Updated: Dec 19, 2020

Erin and Wayne Harris of Kootenay Meadows Farm, Creston, BC, take us along as they experiment with crimping a fall rye cover crop to reseed a field to an alfalfa-sainfoin-legume-grass forage blend.

What is crimping? Why two seeders trained together? Erin and Wayne walk us through the reasons they are trying this new way to establish forage, and ways they hope to improve the system.

This is Part 1 of a two-part series. Part 2 — due out early 2021 — will join Erin to look at establishment of the young plants and discuss successes and failures.

Produced by Andrew Bennett of the Kootenay and Boundary Farm Advisors and Living Lands Agroecology.

Watch the video here:


00:00 Intro

00:13 Erin Harris: Why and How

00:31 Establish Fall Rye

00:59 Crimped Mulch Benefits

01:44 Dryland Trials

02:29 Why Two Seeders?

03:06 Crimper Front vs Rear?

03:30 Extra Corner Crimping

03:54 Last Year's Lessons

04:24 Crimp Hard (but don't cut)

04:53 Diverse Forage Seed

05:27 Seed Drill — Set the Depth

06:32 Seed Drill — Set the Rate

07:17 The Lodging Problem

08:08 Brad Welds on a Rake

08:42 Brad Built the Crimper

09:01 Measuring Biomass

09:40 Rye Too Thick?

10:03 Rake is Ready!

10:21 Trying the Rake

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