Across Nebraska, the use of cover crops is increasing. Most commonly, winter cover crops are planted during the fallow period between corn or soybean harvest and the next crop. However, other windows for cover cropping exist in Nebraska.
In trials conducted at three research stations in eastern, northeastern and south-central Nebraska, researchers investigated rye productivity and its ability to scavenge N when grown as a cover crop between full-season corn and soybeans.
An article from the Proceedings of the 2018 Nebraska Extension Crop Production Clinics on recent research to understand the impact of planting dates, plant populations, and corn (Zea mays L.) hybrid comparative relative maturity (CRM) on corn growth, kernel moisture content, and corn yield prior to cover crops.
A short review of cover crop research conducted at four University of Nebraska research fields (two irrigated, two dryland) to study the feasibility and impact of winter cover cropping on soil quality, soil water, and crop yields in corn-soybean systems. Objectives were to quantify cover crop emergence, fall and spring biomass production, soil water changes, soil chemical and physical property changes, and crop yields.
Rye was the leading biomass producer in the first two years of a four-year study exploring whether winter cover cropping in no-till corn and soybean systems in Nebraska can benefit soil quality despite their short growing season.