WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Organic & Integrated Tree Fruit Production

Saturday, September 22, 2018

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9933. DeVault, G.. 1985. Sweet wheat.. The New Farm, May/June 1985, p.20-22..
In Gilford, Montana, where the average annual rainfall is 11.7", most farmers use summer fallow. But one farmer, Levi Hansen, does it in a non-traditional way. He seeds yellow sweetclover right along with the spring wheat. The wheat comes up before the clover. When the wheat is cut in the fall, the clover overwinters and comes on strong in spring. By May 15th, Hanson plows the clover in and cultivates during the summer as a normal fallow. He credits the sweetclover with helping keep yields up by increasing organic matter, tilth and water-holding capacity of his soil. He also estimates that the summer fallow produces an additional 60 lbs of nitrogen as crop residues break down.

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