Cover crops can be seeded with a standard grain drill after corn or soybean harvest, broadcast with a spinner or airflow spreader followed by light tillage, or applied in liquid manure. Cover crops can also be broadcast over the top of maturing corn or soybeans as leaves are beginning to turn, using a high-clearance seeder, airplane or helicopter.

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Flying on the cover crop in early September gives it more time to grow, but has drawbacks, in Robinson’s experience. Lower seed-to-soil contact, less precise placement, crop-canopy interference and harvest wheel traffic can all hinder establishment. “I haven’t been as successful with aerial seeding.”