More than 70 farms in 54 Massachusetts communities are participating voluntarily and are receiving financial and technical assistance for aerial cover crop seeding in cornfields. The conservation practice involves a helicopter flying over corn fields, releasing the seed from a hopper hanging beneath the chopper. By inter-seeding the cover crop seed into a crop such as corn, the cover crop is already established when the corn is harvested a few weeks later. In New England, if agricultural producers apply a cover crop after they harvest their crop in late September to early October, it can be too late in the season for it to establish well enough to provide full benefits. This is the third consecutive year that NRCS has offered help with aerial cover crop seeding to local farms. The GPS technology that they are using is a new enhancement that makes placement of the cover crop seed more efficient and effective.
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