Researchers report their findings from a one-year cover crop study at two sites in western Nebraska to study the impact of planting and termination dates and cover crop species selection. This article is part of the Crop Production Clinic Proceedings 2019.
Farmers throughout the Corn Belt may want to consider diversifying traditional corn and soybean rotations to increase agronomic sustainability and to spread financial risks associated with low market prices of corn and soybean. An alternative is a more diverse crop rotation using field pea (short-season grain crop) followed by cover crops, forages, or short-season crops (Figure 1).
A research project in eastern Nebraska is evaluating a double crop production system as a potential alternative to the traditional corn/soybean rotation. Following an early season crop of yellow field peas, short-season crops (corn, soybean, grain sorghum, millet and sunflower) and annual forages (forage sorghum and sorghum-Sudangrass) were planted.
What was the effect on corn from cover crops planted after winter wheat and prior to corn in a fallow rotation using different planting dates and cover crop mixtures? In the first year of a three-year study in North Platte and Grant, researchers compared the effect of several systems on multiple variables and share findings and considerations for growers.