Person: Jeremy Gustafson

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Cover crops are typically either
aerially seeded into standing crops
around the time of physiological
maturity in late summer or drilled
immediately following crop harvest
in the fall.
• In this study, two farmercooperators
evaluated spring
cover crops seeded in March
approximately 50 days before
planting soybeans later in the
spring.
Key Findings
• Cover crops seeded in late March
and terminated in late May grew up
to between 6 to 10 inches in height.
• Cover crops did not affect soybean
yields compared to where no cover
crop was seeded.

January 16, 2018 

RESEARCH REPORT

An earlier seeding date opens up
the opportunity for more diverse
cover crops like brassicas and
legumes that need more time and
heat units to grow than common
cover crops like cereal rye.
• Two farmer-cooperators
interseeded cover crops (cowpeas,
annual ryegrass, rapeseed) into
corn at the V4 stage in June. Corn
hybrids chosen exhibited vertical
and horizontal leaf orientations to
test whether more light penetrating
the corn canopy would encourage
successful cover crop establishment
and growth.
Key Findings
• Corn leaf orientation and corn
planting population did not appear
to have much of an effect on the
interseeded cover crops.
• Jack Boyer saw corn yields reduced
by an average of 24 bu/ac due to
the interseeded cover crops.

January 15, 2018 

RESEARCH REPORT

In a Nutshell
• Can frost-seeding small-seeded
brassica species into crop residue
be an effective spring cover crop
strategy?
Key Findings
• Among three locations, mustard
provided the most groundcover.
• When frost-seeded in the spring,
cover crop growth appears to be
related to GDD accumulated prior
to termination.

October 16, 2017 

RESEARCH REPORT

In a Nutshell
• Cereal rye, oats and other
small grains grass species
have been proven as effective
cover crops in cornsoybean
systems in Iowa.
• Cooperators screened grass,
legume and brassica species
for fall and spring groundcover
in hand-seeded plots
(7.5’ x 25’) across the state.
Key findings
• Cereal rye remains the
most consistent cover crop
providing fall groundcover,
overwintering capability and
spring groundcover across
locations.
• Brassicas generally produced
as much fall ground cover
as the small grains grasses
in the present iteration of
the trial.
• Hairy vetch and radish
performed better than in
past iterations, likely due to
exceptional growing conditions

July 25, 2017 

RESEARCH REPORT

On-farm research shows benefits of planting “green” with soybeans into a cereal rye cover cropFor Release: March 29, 2017 Download PDF (3 MB) Contact: Nick Ohde | Research and Media Coordinator | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | nick@practicalfarmers.org Stefan Gailans | Research and Field Crops Director | Practical Farmers | (515) 232-5661 [...]

March 29, 2017 

NEWS RELEASE

Delaying cover crop termination until near soybean planting would allow for more biomass production by the cover crop in the spring presenting the opportunity for more environmental benefit. Two farmer-cooperators continued work they began in 2015 that compares terminating a cereal rye cover crop 2-3 weeks prior to seeding soybeans (early termination) with terminating the […]

November 30, 2016 

BLOG POST

In a Nutshell
• Delaying cover crop termination until
near soybean planting would allow
for more biomass production by the
cover crop in the spring presenting the
opportunity for more environmental
benefit.
• Two farmer-cooperators continued
work they began in 2015 that compares
terminating a cereal rye cover crop 2-3
weeks prior to seeding soybeans (early
termination) with terminating the cover
crop within 5 days of seeding soybeans
(late termination).
Key findings
• Jeremy Gustafson saw a 2 bu/ac increase
and improved weed control with
the late termination treatment in 2016.
This amounted to a $49.97/ac economic
benefit compared to the early termination
treatment. In 2015, soybean
yields were equivalent between the two
termination date treatments.
• Jack Boyer saw no difference in soybean
yields between the two cover
crop termination treatments in either
year. In 2015, he was able to skip a
post-emergence herbicide application
which saved him approx. $40/ac.

 

RESEARCH REPORT

The Farm Progress Show was in Boone, IA last week. Practical Farmers of Iowa has been hosting a booth at the show the past three times its been held in Boone, IA. The booth was filled with cover crop plants, PFI materials and most importantly PFI farmer experts who shared advice about cover crops with other […]

September 9, 2016 

BLOG POST

Practical Farmers of Iowa’s mission is to strengthen farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information sharing. One of the primary ways we accomplish this mission is through on-farm research as part of our Cooperators’ Program. Over the past few years, the investigation of cover crops by farmer-cooperators has dominated the program. Below I offer a review […]

July 19, 2016 

BLOG POST

Cover Crop Variety Trial 2015-2016 Download PDF (2 MB) View Fullscreen

July 7, 2016 

RESEARCH REPORT