No-till fall broccoli in northern Ontario

Farmer: Ryan Spence & Isabelle Spence-Legault

Farm: Field Good Farms / J’me Champ Bien

Region: North

Publish Date: August 11, 2021

Article Type: Research Report

Research Priorities: Cover Crops 

IN A NUTSHELL Ryan and Isabelle tested whether a crimped cover crop of rye and hairy vetch reduced tillage, cultivation and irrigation for their fall broccoli crop.
  • Compared to tillage, the cover crop residue provided sufficient mulch to significantly reduce weeding time and increase soil moisture throughout the growing season by 11%. There was adequate rainfall, so they didn’t need to use irrigation in the tillage plots.
  • Broccoli grown in crimped cover crop mulch had around half the marketable yield compared to the tilled plots.
  • The yield loss combined with no difference in total labour made this no-till system as tested unviable for broccoli production.
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