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Local Aerial Seeding for Cover Crops Brings Soil Benefits

Scott county has a rich history of farmers who have worked with the land for generations to provide for their families and protect the longevity of the soil that their crops grow in. One way that farmers are protecting their soil today is by using cover crops.

Cover crops can reduce soil erosion, weeds, and diseases while also increasing soil stability and biodiversity. They can be planted in a variety of different ways at different times throughout the growing season.

This August, the Scott SWCD will once again be partnering with an aerial applicator to seed cover crops onto local farmer’s fields. Farmers looking for an easy way to incorporate cover crops into their operation need to look no further.

This will be the fourth year in a row that the service is being provided. Last year, 353 acres of cover crops were aerial seeded throughout the county. The cooperation between the Scott SWCD and participating farmers made the seeding last year quick and successful.

The benefits of aerial seeding

In most corn and soybean operations, crop fields are left with no live cover from late fall, all throughout winter, and into early spring. Fields are therefore left will little protection against erosion.

However, in aerial seeding, fields are given cover during the winter. That cover—consisting of species like winter cereal grains and radishes—holds soil in place where it otherwise would have been eroded away by the melting snow. The chosen seed mixes are also tolerant to Minnesota’s cold winters and will begin to grow again in early spring.

How to sign up for aerial seeding

If you are interested in aerial seeding cover crops on your fields this year, contact Scott SWCD resource conservationist, Scott Schneider at 952-492-5417 or

Requests must be made before August 1st to ensure you are put on the seeding list. Aerial seeding typically occurs between late August and early September.

The Scott SWCD will not only help you schedule your seeding, they will also help you design and implement your entire cover crop plan. Financial incentives may be available as well.

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