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Cover Crops: Buckwheat

Growers may know that cover crops benefit the soil and agricultural operations, but do they know the benefits of each species? Each month a different cover crop species will be highlighted to provide producers with the information needed to successfully grow cover crops or alternative forages.


  • Should be planted at a depth of 1/2" - 1" between June 15 and August 15th for optimal growth

  • Seeding rates will vary based on seeding method and intended use, but ranges from 45-70 lbs/acre of pure, live seed


  • Quick growing cover crop that matures in 70-90 days

  • Commonly used as a mid-season cover that can be planted during summer months

  • Rapid growth makes for quick & easy establishment; germinates in around 3 days


Weed Suppression

Allelopathic effects when buckwheat is growing make it a good suppressor of weeds, along with shading and overall competition.

Buckwheat crowds out plants after tillage, especially perennial weeds that can be tough to handle such as thistles.

Soil Health

Buckwheat scavenges for nutrients. Phosphorus is taken up by the plant and released to the following crop as the buckwheat residue breaks down. This phosphorus would otherwise be unavailable to next crop.

Interested in learning about other types of cover crops? Visit our Cover Crops page to see a wide variety of MN cover crops!

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