As with traditional farming, the first step to planting CRP is land preparation. With CRP, however, you’re not planting row crops that will be harvested in a few months. You’re establishing native vegetation that will stay in place for at least 10-15 years. Land prep is critical to long term success.
The key to preparing land for CRP and ensuring successful establishment is controlling weeds and reducing competition so that your CRP seed can thrive. While modern farming often relies on tillage to prepare land, this practice is rarely used in CRP establishment (for a number of reasons).
No-till planting is the preferred method and requires a more hands-on approach to combatting weeds. Herbicide plays a large role in this, but before that can be applied, you’ll likely have to do some mowing.
Mowing is another critical part of managing weeds and helping CRP vegetation thrive. It not only keeps the weeds from seeding, but it allows the herbicide to contact new growth and increase plant uptake of chemical.
Herbicide Application for CRP
Once initial mowing has been completed, it’s time for herbicide application. The exact type of herbicide used for CRP depends on the weeds you’re dealing with. Additionally, there are certain restrictions on what herbicide can be used for CRP.
It’s important to be strategic with your herbicide selection and application to maximize effectiveness. Your local NRCS office should be able to provide additional guidance for selecting herbicides and creating a plan.
In addition to mowing and herbicide application, you may also want to carry out a burn plan. This isn’t necessary for everyone. It’s best to speak to NRCS or an experienced CRP service contractor for guidance on whether or not you should burn your field.
Increasing Your Chances of Successful Germination
Successfully establishing CRP is all about making sure your seed mix is able to germinate. Site preparation and proper planting are important parts of this. Equally important, however, is purchasing quality CRP seed with high purity rates.
When buying CRP seed, make sure to make purchase based on PLS (pure live seed). Experienced CRP seed suppliers like All Native Seed, LLC. will already know your seed mix requirements are based on PLS. If you call to order seed and the vendor doesn’t know what PLS is, you are purchasing your seed from the wrong company.
At All Native Seed, CRP seed is our specialty. Our CRP seed has been reprocessed for enhanced purity and tested for noxious weeds such as Palmer amaranth. In addition to providing seed for plans developed by the NRCS, we have our own custom CRP seed mixes created by CRP experts with over 100 years of combined experience.
Whatever option you choose, you can expect the highest germination rates possible. If you have any questions or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us at 888-224-2004 or firstname.lastname@example.org.