A cover crop mix of oats, annual ryegrass, and crimson clover. It is a superb cover crop for Zone 6 and 7. The benefit of crimson clover is that it flowers early and will fix nitrogen earlier in the spring than other legumes. Annual ryegrass has very extensive root growth and improves soil structure better than cereal grains. The oats in the mix will grow rapidly in the late summer/early fall of the year, providing quick ground cover to hold soil and smother weeds. The fast oat growth also provides quick nutrient scavenging. The oats winter kill, but act as a nurse crop for the other components, and the oat residue provides a buffer over the winter. The annual ryegrass and crimson clover will normally overwinter.
Cargo makes an excellent feed as well, with high sugars, digestible fiber, and protein that come from the balance of grasses and legumes (see data on next page). It will not yield quite as well as a straight stand of oats, but it is ideal for dual cover crop/forage use with its combination of diversity, forage quality, and soil improvement qualities.
If the mix is planned for fall forage use, plant in August at heavier seeding rates (up to 130 lbs/A). In spring, cut annual ryegrass and crimson clover for baleage, prior to head/flower emergence.
- Good mix to prevent erosion—ryegrass and clover overwinter.
- A nutrient catch crop, nutrient scavenger, and nitrogen fixer.
- Annual ryegrass’s deep roots break up soil compaction, add organic matter, and scavenge nutrients
NOTE: For your convenience, this mix is pre-inoculated.
Recommended seeding rate: 60-130 lbs/A.