Member Priority: Field 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

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.

January 17, 2018 

RESEARCH REPORT

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 […]

 

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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. 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 […]

 

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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

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 […]

 

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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

As farmers wrap up their season and plan for next, PFI’s farmer-cooperators have an additional responsibility: submit the data they collected from this year’s research trials and plan next year’s projects. The first week in December marks the annual two-day Cooperators’ Meeting where farmer members meet to discuss these research results with each other and […]

December 6, 2017 

BLOG POST

A roller-crimper presents farmers the opportunity to mechanically terminate cover crops without chemicals or tillage. This method is dependent on a large amount of cover crop growth and the cover crop reaching the flowering stage before crimping. A roller-crimper is a large, metal cylinder with “chevron” pattern blades that simultaneously lays the cover crop flat […]

December 4, 2017 

BLOG POST

Farmers reported that
in 59 of 63 site-years,
properly managed
cover crops had little to
no negative effect on
corn and soybean yield
(and actually increased
soybean yield in 8 siteyears
and corn yield in 2
site-years).

November 30, 2017 

RESEARCH REPORT