Can I broadcast directly into a standing cover crop and then crimp over the top of the newly planted crop and find success? 

By GrowingDeer,

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Question: I’m a small parcel(40 acre) land owner in Southwest Louisiana. I’ve been a long time viewer of your channel, love the content yall put out and everything yall do to help the hunting and farming communities. I’ve done a lot of studying on your technique, Dave Brandt, Ray Archuletta, Gabe Brown and many more and none really address my question. I recently aquired the materials necessary to build myself a roller crimper and also a set of prints to follow as I build. I do not have the refunds necessary to buy a no till drill at the moment, and my local coop and nrcs does not have one available for rent. Ive been implementing a variation of the “buffalo system” and addressing my soils resource concern( low ph low nitrogen and low organic matter) on roughly 5 acres of piney woods for about a year and thus far am finding success and beginning to attract more deer. What I would like to know is, once I finish this roller crimper, can I broadcast directly into a standing cover crop and then crimp over the top of the newly planted crop and find success?  Any direction or tips on how I might improve my success using this technique would be GREATLY APPRECIATED. My initial thought is yes I can on larger stronger plants like soybeans, cowpeas ect, but not nescessarily on smaller seeds such as clover, turnips and, radish. Maybe the answer is broadcast, wait for germination and seedling height of 4-5″ then crimp? Let me know what you think and thank you for taking your time to answer back and may God bless you and your family!


For seedlings to survive the seeds must have a root established in the soil.  If seeds are broadcast onto a layer of living or dead vegetation they will likely germinate but often their root won’t reach the soil and the seedlings perish.  This is the role of a no-till drill – to cut through any mulch on the soil’s surface and place seeds at the correct depth in soil.
I often broadcast seed into standing vegetation but realize I must spread at least twice the seed as normal and then there may not be a great stand. Sometimes I create a firebreak around the plot and burn the existing vegetation when it’s dry/dead and then broadcast the seed.  This is a good technique that still increases the amount of organic matter as it doesn’t harm the roots, but does create a clean seed bed and often a very good stand of forage!
I’d encourage you to moderate your expectations of using a crimper without the use of a no till drill as that’s not how it’s designed to be used.