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.
Heavy spring rains may have leached nitrogen from some soils. In-season chemigation applications can provide nitrogen when the plant most needs it and reduce the potential for leaching. To use chemigation, users must meet two major requirements: they must be certified to use chemigation and pollution prevention equipment must be installed at each injection location and inspected and approved by the local NRD.