Skip to main content

Information for Buckwheat Growers

Buckwheat Cover Crop Handbook


Following early vegetables

After early vegetables have been harvested, the growing season allows excellent cover crop growth to stop the weeds that would grow otherwise, and to improve tilth rather than letting the soil erode.

Suppress or reduce weeds
Improve soil condition

Decision Making:
Use buckwheat if the answer to these three questions is yes:

  1. Is your main goal reducing weed pressure or improving soil condition?
  2. Is the field open long enough (6–7 weeks between vegetable harvest and fall crop)?
  3. Is the field free of herbicide carryover? (See list below)

  Don’t use buckwheat after using these herbicides on the season’s first crop
  • Atrazine
  • Pursuit (imazethapyr)
  • Sandea and Permit (halosulfuron)
  • Reflex (fomesafen)

No carryover problem with these materials

  • Basagran (bentazon)
  • Command (clomazone)
  • Dual Magnum (S-metalochlor)
  • Eptam (EPTC)
  • Prowl (pendimethalin)
  • Raptor (imazamox)
  • Roundup (glyphosate)
  • Sencor (metribuzin)
  • Treflan (trifluralin)

Buckwheat can be sown after vegetables any time from early June through early August.

Give buckwheat an opportunity to out-compete the weeds.

  1. Loosen soil, but don’t overtill.
  2. Wait about a week for decomposition to avoid gaps in a reduced stand. If the soil is dry, irrigate about 1” a few days before planting.
  3. Drill at 50 lb/ac, 1 inch deep; shallower if soil conditions allow. Broadcasting is possible, but to avoid gaps it must be done with great care. Spread evenly using 70 lb/ac. Use shallow incorporation, such as with a drag or chain, to give the buckwheat a faster start than the weeds.
  4. After a week, inspect the field and reseed any gaps over 1 foot in diameter.
  5. Mow no later than 10 days after plants begin to flower (about 6 weeks after seeding). Or else, leave to reseed, or to harvest grain. See Grain production guide.
  6. Plant a fall crop, or a winter cover crop to preserve improved tilth.


Previous | Next


Buckwheat home