Buckwheat is a warm weather cover crop with several advantages. It crowds out weeds, it adds organic matter to the soil when it’s cut and left on the soil, and it feeds beneficial insects, like the bumble bee, pictured.

Cover crops, plants grown for the purpose of covering exposed soil and increasing soil fertility and organic matter, aren’t a new concept. They’ve been around for decades; and in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, they’re a tool to reduce nutrients and sediment that accompany stormwater runoff.

When we see farm fields covered in green grassy plants in the fall and winter, we know the farmer is doing his or her best to keep the nutrients where they belong. It is good for our local streams and rivers, too, and it saves the farmer some fertilizer inputs the following spring.

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