No-till fall broccoli in northern Ontario
Farmer: Ryan Spence & Isabelle Spence-Legault
Farm: Field Good Farms / J’me Champ Bien
Publish Date: August 11, 2021
Article Type: Research Project
Research Priorities: Cover Crops
Ryan and Isabelle tested whether a crimped cover crop of rye and hairy vetch reduced tillage, cultivation and irrigation for their fall broccoli crop.
In a Nutshell
- 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.