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Episode 25: Exploring Cover Crops with Kyle Nichols and Rory Crowley


Farmers Kyle Nichols and Rory Crowley discuss the benefits and tradeoffs of planting cover crops. They examine the economics and agronomics of the practice, and what this means for water management. Crowley is also the habitat program director for Project Apis m., running the Seeds for Bees program. Seeds for Bees encourages growers to support honey bee habitat and soil health by planting cover crops.

Everything on the market seems to be more and more difficult so growers are having a really hard time. It's because of that, that Seeds for Bees is pushing out more free seed allocations this year.... At Project Apis m., we believe that cover cropping is important and even more so when we're having difficult times and difficult weather to plant in.
Rory Crowley

In Today’s episode:

  • Meet Rory Crowley, almond grower and the habitat program director for Project Apis m., and Kyle Nichols, farm manager at Cinderlind Farms
  • Explore the Seeds for Bees program, the benefits it provides and the process for applying to participate
  • Discover the compost technique Kyle Nichols has used on his operation along with cover crops to enhance the biological activity in the soils of his orchard
You can help keep that soil open and allow the drainage to happen, allow that water to get there and then leave. And that's what I've noticed as we implement cover crops... it brings that water over and it disperses that water across the entire row. I call it kind of making a water bank. It's going to hold all that water.
Kyle Nichols

For more information about this or any of the topics we discuss on this podcast, reach out to the Almond Board’s Field Outreach Team directly at

The Almond Journey Podcast is brought to you by the Almond Board of California. This show explores how growers, handlers, and other stakeholders are making things work in their operations to drive the almond industry forward. Host Tim Hammerich visits with leaders throughout the Central Valley of California and beyond who are finding innovative ways to improve their operations, connect with their communities, and advance the almond industry.

ABC recognizes the diverse makeup of the California almond industry and values contributions offered by its growers, handlers, and allied industry members. However, the opinions, services and products discussed in existing and future podcast episodes are by no means an endorsement or recommendation from ABC. The Almond Journey podcast is not an appropriate venue to express opinions on national, state, local or industry politics. As a Federal Marketing Order, the Almond Board of California is prohibited from lobbying or advocating on legislative issues, as well as setting field and market prices.