• Broadcast Seeding Cover Crops with Incorporation

Broadcasting Cover Crops

Broadcast Seeding Cover Crops with Incorporation

Cover crops can be broadcast onto a field, followed by a light tillage pass to incorporate, or seeds can be spread and incorporated with a seeder mounted directly on the vertical tillage implement. No matter the method, shallow incorporation after broadcast seeding helps improve cover crop stands.


Broadcasting cover crops with vertical tillage incorporation offers a one-pass operation that is often faster than other methods, as many shallow vertical tillage implements are designed to operate at high speeds. It provides adequate seed-to-soil contact and fits well into vertical tillage operations. Vertical tillage tools aid in the establishment of cover crops by cutting and fluffing residue to increase seed-to-soil contact. Studies have shown that broadcasting wheat and rye covers with vertical tillage incorporation produced establishment rates similar to those that were drilled.

Incorporation of cover crops with vertical tillage increases germination and leads to higher establishment rates than broadcast methods alone. Incorporating the seed also reduces the impact of weather conditions.

Tips for Broadcasting & Incorporating Cover Crops

  • Broadcast seeding generally requires 10-20% higher seeding rates than drilled rates.
  • Following seeding, rainfall is helpful but not crucial for broadcasting with incorporation. Adequate soil moisture is necessary for success with this method.
  • Broadcasting larger seeds and mixes may present more challenges, as seed-to-soil contact is more important for establishment. Varying seed sizes and densities could result in uneven stands, so when broadcasting mixtures, it is important to monitor for even distribution and spreading.
  • Ensure seed is not buried too deep.
  • Run straight coulters on the vertical tillage implement. Avoid cupped or concave blades, as these invert the soil and bury the cover crop too deep.

Related News and Information

6 Reasons to Combine Cover Crops and Vertical Tillage

6 Reasons to Combine Cover Crops and Vertical Tillage
January 15, 2016

Many farmers are now hitting the field with cover crop seeders mounted to their vertical tillage implements. Here are just a few of the agronomic and economic benefits to incorporating cover crops with vertical tillage: 

1. Manage residue and plant cover crops – at the same time.
Seeding cover crops with a vertical tillage tool allows you to manage residue and plant cover crops in one pass. Fewer passes means reduced input costs and greater efficiency for your operation.

Cover Crop Planting Guidelines

Tips for Seeding Cover Crops
September 28, 2015

The following tables contain recommendations for planting common cover crop species. Please note that this information should be used as a starting point only. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual for specific seed rates and calibrate your machine prior to planting!

Cover Crop Seeding Methods

Cover Crop Seeding Methods
September 28, 2015

If you’re considering cover crops, it is important to decide how to plant them. There are various techniques for seeding cover crops, including no-till drilling, precision planting, and broadcasting seed with incorporation. Each method has its own set of advantages and limitations, but the key is to find a method best-suited for your operation’s cover crop goals.