Someone asked why a farmer was land spreading beets? And if so, would there be an awful odor? What you are seeing, and smelling, is tillage radish. Many farms plant tillage radish after harvesting grain crops in the summer, on hay fields, and on corn silage fields. They may plant the radish alone, or as part of a seed mix. Why would they do this? What they are doing is establishing a cover crop. This crop will grow before it gets cold to provide green cover for the field throughout the winter. A cover crop can reduce erosion and surface runoff from the field and can improve the soil health of the field. All good things for the farm, and for the surrounding community. There is one downfall to tillage radish – as it decomposes it can release an awful odor. As temperatures increase, this may become more apparent.

Tillage radish January 2017