Cover Crop Field Day Monday, Sept. 25 near Lincoln

Cover crop plots
Figure 1. Some of the six cover crop mixes featured on the Sept. 25 cover crop field day, each planted for a specific purpose. Diversity is important in cover crops to help feed the soil system. (Photo by Paul Jasa)

Cover Crop Field Day Monday, Sept. 25 near Lincoln September 15, 2017

A field day to view a variety of cover crops seeded after wheat harvest will be held at the UNL Rogers Memorial Farm just east of Lincoln.  The free event will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Monday, September 25.

Cover crop topics will include:

  • Understanding the goals and objectives of cover crops
  • Selection and management of cover crops to achieve the objectives
  • Using cover crops to improve soil health and help control weeds
  • Discussing the effects on yields and the soil system, both short-term and long-term

Six cover crop mixes, each planted for a specific objective, will be featured, showing how different species can be used for different purposes. Fertilizer has been applied in a strip across these six mixes to show the improvement in growth and biomass production, important if grazing is one of the objectives. In addition, a shredding across the six mixes was done to simulate grazing to show regrowth and recovery of the different species. 

The field day will also include a no-till drill demo, seeding a 14-way diverse mix into wheat stubble. This will be the sixth planting date of the same mix, once every two weeks since wheat harvest, allowing attendees to compare the differences in growth and species performance.  Also featured will be a nitrogen rate response study to estimate the apparent nitrogen contribution of various legume cover crops for corn production in 2018.  Data from the same study conducted in 2012 and 2015 will be discussed.

Seed vendors and cover crop users will be in attendance to share some of their experiences, adding to the discussion and helping answer questions.

The Rogers Memorial Farm is located at 18630 Adams Street, Lincoln (north side of the road, about 7 ½ miles east of Lincoln, 2 miles north of Highway 34).