Cover Crops

Cereal rye cover crop
Figure 1. No-till cereal rye cover crop planted on October 21, 2016 after corn harvest in North Platte. Cereal rye was drilled at 60 lb per acre on 7.5-inch row spacing. Photo taken April 10, 2017.

Terminating a Cereal Rye Cover Crop – Things to Consider April 13, 2017

Fall-planted cereal rye is increasingly used as a cover crop in corn and soybean cropping systems in Nebraska. The authors address control of cereal rye through herbicide and mechanical measures and include a USDA NRCS map of recommended termination deadlines.

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Triticale cover crop
Triticale cover crop in an existing University of Nebraska-Lincoln trial.

Nebraska Part of National Research Initiative to Improve Cover Crops March 22, 2017

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is part of a $6.6 million research initiative to promote soil health through the development and adoption of new cover crops across the United States. The initiative was launched today by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, which is the lead institution.  

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Figure 1. Cover crops planted into corn residue (left) and aerial seeded into soybean residue. (Photos by Gary Lesoing)

Nebraska Cover Crop Conference Feb. 14 January 25, 2017

Interested in adding cover crops to your corn-soybean rotation, but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’re already using cover crops and would like to talk with others about some challenges you faced.

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cover crops

Is Nitrogen Fixation Oversold with Legume Cover Crops? December 16, 2016

One expected benefit of using legumes as a cover crop is to provide a source of nitrogen (N) to the cropping system. However, when legumes are included in mixtures with grasses and broadleaves for a relatively short growing period, the amount of actual fixed N may be relatively low.

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Small Grain Annual Forages Following Soybean Production December 2, 2016

This research brief looks at a three-year grazing trial addressing the question of what small grain is most suitable to plant after soybean to offer the best opportunity for grazing.

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In these research trials in western Nebraska winter triticale was found to offer several advantages over winter barley as a cover crop.
Figure 1. In these research trials in western Nebraska winter triticale was found to offer several advantages over winter barley as a cover crop.

Triticale: A Useful Component of a Cover Crop December 1, 2016

This overview of UNL research compares winter triticale with winter barley and explores why crop producers may want to include triticale in their cover crop blends.

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Figure 1. Steers grazing a mix of oats, turnips and radishes in mid-December. At this point in Experiment 4 there was still 1.5 ton dry matter per acre and calves grazed until mid-January when the weather ended grazing due to the forage being iced to the ground.
Figure 1. Steers grazing a mix of oats, turnips and radishes in mid-December. At this point in Experiment 4 there was still 1.5 ton dry matter per acre and calves grazed until mid-January when the weather ended grazing due to the forage being iced to the ground.

Value of Oats and Brassicas for Fall Forage December 1, 2016

An overview of five experiments evaluating the use of winter-sensitive, cool-season species planted in mid-August after wheat or early September after corn silage harvest for grazing of fall-weaned calves during November and December.

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Residues from cover crop mixtures terminated via sweep plow undercutter (left) or disk (right) in May 2010 study near Mead.

Cover Crop Mixtures: Effects of Diversity and Termination Method on Weeds, Soil, and Crop Yield November 30, 2016

Overview of two experiments conducted in eastern Nebraska to quantify the productivity and agronomic effects of diverse cover crop mixtures and to determine how several termination methods might alter those effects.

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