Noble Rancher Articles
Crops category

Seed Certification: What Is It and What Does It Mean for You?

Have you ever wondered why it is recommended to purchase certified seed? Really, what is the purpose of that blue tag that says “certified seed” sewn on the seed bag you are wanting to buy? Why is that label so important? As a farmer, rancher or frequent buyer of seed, these are all great questions to ask. So, let us get down to business and try to address these questions. After all, seeds are a basic and critical input for many agricultural enterprises to enhance their operational productivity.

Cover Crops: A Tool in Agricultural Production

There are many variables to consider when deciding if cover crops fit into a cropping system. For the purposes of this article, a cover crop is defined as a crop grown between cash crops with the primary intent of noncash benefits, such as soil heath, erosion control, weed suppression, etc. Following are three topic areas relative to cover crops that are discussed frequently among Noble Research Institute consultants.

Observations of 20-Plus Cover Crop Species

Cover crops span a diverse array of plant types and species, and they can be used at various times of the year in the Southern Great Plains. For the sake of simplicity, we will group them by warm-season and cool-season. Typically, cool-season cover crops are planted in the fall on crop fields or overseeded into dormant warm-season perennial grass pastures. Warm-season cover crops are usually planted in the spring on crop fields. In Oklahoma and Texas, they can also be planted in late summer for fall growth prior to a killing frost. We have experimented with growing cover crops in various environments in the Ardmore, Oklahoma, area over the past several years. Following are some of our observations.