Cover Crops

In recent years, we have seen renewed interest in the use of cover crops in Ireland. Cover crops are an essential component of every sustainable farm. They are an investment in your soils and fields that will pay future dividends of healthier, more productive arable crops. Cover crops are generally used to improve soil health, prevent soil erosion, defeat weeds, improve soil water availability, and break pest cycles.

The Cooney Furlong Grain Company stock a range of top quality seed mixtures from Germinal Ireland.

Our Cooney Furlong farm representatives are available to discuss your requirements.

Tillage Radish

A healthy tillage radish sends a strong taproot deep into soil. It cycles and sequesters nutrients below ground while working to provide wind and water erosion control above ground. Below the soil surface it is penetrating compaction layers with its taproot, lateral roots and root hairs while all the time drawing nutrients from deep within the soil to nearer to the surface which will be available to the next crop once the tillage radish decays.


Phacelia is a rapidly growing, high biomass plant. It is a nitrogen holder and weed suppressor. Its eye catching purple flowers are particularly good at attracting bees and other beneficial insects. Phacelia is effective at preventing nitrogen leaching and suppressing weeds, due to its fast establishment. Although not known as a deep rooted species, its dense zone of shallow roots are very good at conditioning the top 3-4cm of soil.


This is a short term, aggressive weed suppressor. It is good at scavenging for phosphate in the soil, breaking it down and then making it available to subsequent crops after incorporation. It’s especially useful in soils that suffer from phosphate lockup. With its quick growth, the plant can establish from seed in 8 – 10 weeks. Buckwheat has very poor frost tolerance and will begin to die if it sees frost in the forecast. Forage Rape / Leafy Turnip: Forage rape is a quick growing, protein-rich green forage. It is sown up until early September to provide forage 12 weeks later. In most years it can be relied upon to produce forage until Christmas. In a mixture with leafy turnip it provides a highly digestible catch crop.


Vetch is a well-known legume also known as common vetch or tares. It scrambling, smothering growth habit and frost tolerance make it a very useful winter cover crop or green manure. This is a winter-hardy annual which can be grown on its own to fix large amounts of N.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

© Cooney Furlong