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Two Crops, One Field

Two Crops, One Field

A North Dakota farmer is breaking new ground with cash crop polyculture.

Mark Jennings, Washburn, N.D., is trying something interesting.

He's growing two cash crops in the same field at the same time.

One crop is field peas.

The other is radishes (for cover crop seed).

He direct seeded both at the same time with a John Deere air disc drill. The radish seed was in one compartment in the air cart. Field peas were in the other. He planted each at the normal planting rate.

To control weeds, Jennings sprayed the field with glyphosate before planting. He'll follow up with a post emergent grass herbicide if necessary.

He will harvest the two crops together and separate the seed with a grain cleaner.

"I hope the two crops will complement each other," says Jennings. "Field peas fix their own nitrogen and radish scavenge N that other crops leave behind."

I'll follow the project and let you know how it turns out.

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