The wet weather of the last few months has limited work in the fields, but as hard frost comes across the country this week, it provides an opportunity for one job to be done and that is to roll cover crops.

Temperatures are hitting -5°C at times in some places and as the ground is hard, it will allow you to travel.

Rolling cover crops in the frost can break the stem of the crop and kill the plant. This can cut out the use of a herbicide.

Some plants will die off naturally in the frost. Phacelia for instance does not do well in the frost.

However, plants such as brassicas are hardy and have a big stem, which can be broken with a roller.

Hard frost

Hard frost is needed to complete the job, so weather like this is ideal. Temperatures look like they will hit -5°C on Tuesday night 9 January. Some days temperatures look like they will stay below freezing until 11am or noon.

Frost isn’t to be as bad later this week. However, it looks like low temperatures will return again next week.

Rolling at this time of the year will help to break down the crop as well, before cultivation takes place, which will reduce some of the biomass.

However, if grass weeds are an issue in your cover crop then you will most likely need to use a herbicide to control these weeds when the weather allows.