Member Priority: Cover Crops

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Cover crop termination and cash crop planting in the spring is the most important aspect of cover crop management to ensure good yields. So this spring we’ve scheduled two shared learning calls where experienced cover crop farmers share their “spring cover crop management playbook.” On February 16, Wayne Fredericks, a corn and soybean farmer in […]

February 21, 2018 

BLOG POST

By Meghan Filbert, Alisha Bower and Nick Ohde Numerous studies show that continuous living cover – whether it’s perennial pasture, diversified crop rotation with small grains and hay, or cover crops in a corn and soybean system – benefit many species of wildlife, from birds – whether they are hunted or non-hunted species – to […]

 

BLOG POST

Small grains are a unique crop in the Midwestern system because they are harvested early – around July – leaving the field open for different field operations and cover crops. This longer window makes it possible to grow a legume cover crop that can synthesize nitrogen and offset purchased fertilizer costs for the following crop […]

February 19, 2018 

BLOG POST

“We started planting cereal rye because it was easy to calve in. Now, most all of our covers are grazed as a way to justify the costs,” said Mark Schleisman, of Lake City. Cover crops that are grazed have value, but how much value? A three-year PFI research project, initiated in 2015, helped quantify this value […]

February 8, 2018 

BLOG POST

In many regions of North America, red clover has a long history of use as an underseeded cover crop in small grain systems. While enthusiasm for cover crops is increasing, red clover use is in decline due to perceptions that other cover crop options are superior, and also due to concerns of poor red clover stand establishment. Research data, however consistently demonstrates that red clover is still the preferred cover crop for soil health, rotation effect, and nitrogen contribution. When used in combination with winter wheat in a corn/soybean system, the impact on soil health and economics is profound. Based on 20+ years of red clover experience, Dr. Deen will describe how to estimate yield and nitrogen benefits of red clover and will discuss recent research aimed at ensuring red clover stand uniformity when underseeded to either small grains or corn.

February 6, 2018 

FARMINAR

Are you growing rye or winter wheat for grain or seed this year? What’s the plan after your harvest? If you’re looking to add nitrogen for a 2019 corn crop, now might be the time to think about frost seeding red clover into that rye or wheat in late February. Red clover as a green […]

January 17, 2018 

BLOG POST

fit into extended and diversified
crop rotations between the
small grain and corn phases of
the rotation. They can either be
underseeded with a small grain
crops in early spring or planted
in the summer following small
grain harvest.
• Farmer-cooperators Doug
Alert & Margaret Smith and
Vic Madsen compared corn
following two green manure
strategies: red clover or alfalfa
underseeded with oats (US) vs. a
mix of sunn hemp, sweet clover,
red clover and radish planted in
mid-summer after oat harvest
(MSS).
Key Findings
• Weed biomass in oats in mid-July
was no different with or without
the underseeding at both farms.
• By mid-October 2016, the US
(red clover) produced more
aboverground biomass than
the MSS by almost 1,000 lb/ac
at Alert/Smith’s. The opposite
was true at Madsen’s: the MSS
produced more biomass than the
US (alfalfa) by approx. 800 lb/ac.
• Corn yields were no different
between the two green manure
treatments at both farms.

 

RESEARCH REPORT

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. However, on occasion time does not permit one to get a cover crop seeded in the fall or the cover crop fails to establish. In 2017, farmer-researchers […]

 

BLOG POST

In Iowa, cover crops are typically either aerially seeded into standing corn around the time of physiological maturity in late summer or drilled immediately following corn harvest in the fall. However, the earlier one can seed a cover crop, the more potential for growth and biomass production. An earlier seeding date also opens up the […]

January 16, 2018 

BLOG POST

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.

 

RESEARCH REPORT