Cover Crops

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Podcast: A Row Crop Farmer's Perspective on Cover Crops and Cattle Grazing September 27, 2018

Chad Dane, a farmer from Clay County, Nebraska, discusses his experience using cover crops in a corn-soybean rotation on this week's UNL BeefWatch podcast.

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Hailed corn
Figure 1. Severely hail-damaged corn field where the ears are the top-most part of the plant. Following severe hail damage, cover crops can offer a variety of benefits from using available nitrogen to aiding weed control. (Photos by Jenny Rees)

Cover Crop Considerations Following Late-Season Hail Storms August 24, 2018

Cover crops offer a number of benefits in fields sustaining late-season hail damage, but should be planted soon to provide sufficient time for growth. A guide covers various cover crops and their use, seeding rates, and seeding method.

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Screen capture from Weed Scientist Chris Proctor's video on managing weeds after hail

New Late-Season Hail Videos Added to Hail Know August 24, 2018

This week four new videos were added to the Hail Know section in CropWatch to address crop assessment and management options after late-season hail, including weed management, cover crops, and forage options.

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Allen Williams

Cover Crop, Adaptive Grazing Program Sept. 5 August 24, 2018

Allen Williams, a founding partner of Grass Fed Beef and Grass Fed Insights, will lead an all-day program on Grazing for Soil Health Sept. 5 in Fullerton. Register by Aug. 30.

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Figure 1. A view of all four treatments of a corn residue and cover crop experiment at the South Central Agricultural Laboratory near Clay Center. Top left is cereal rye with 60% corn residue removal; top right is cereal with corn residue. Bottom left is no cereal rye with 60% corn residue removal; bottom right is corn residue and no cover crop (control).
Figure 1. A view of all four treatments from a corn residue and cover crop experiment at the South Central Agricultural Laboratory near Clay Center. Top left is cereal rye with 60% corn residue removal; top right is cereal with corn residue. Bottom left is no cereal rye with 60% corn residue removal; bottom right is corn residue and no cover crop (control).

Cover Crop and Crop Residue Management: How Does it Affect Soil Water in the Short and Long Term? August 13, 2018

How you manage your soil today impacts its productivity tomorrow. This article focuses on how plant residue management and cover crop use affect water infiltration and plant available water.

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A diverse 14-way mix was planted into wheat stubble immediately after harvest to keep living roots in the field.  The cover crop is using sunlight and carbon dioxide to put energy and carbon into the soil to feed the soil biology.
A diverse 14-way mix was planted into wheat stubble immediately after harvest to keep living roots in the field. The cover crop is using sunlight and carbon dioxide to put energy and carbon into the soil to feed the soil biology. (Photo by Paul Jasa)

Cover Crops for Soil Health in Storm-damaged Fields July 13, 2018

Fields that were hailed, flooded, windblown, or where planting was prevented this season can benefit from the many soil services provided by cover crops. In addition a growing cover crop can help reduce erosion from water and wind and may help protect soil moisture levels.

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Cattle grazing rye cover crop near Tecumseh
Figure 1. Cattle grazing cereal rye cover crop near Tecumseh. Often grazing poses less of a nitrate toxicity risk than haying and feeding.. (Photo by Mary Drewnoski)

Reducing Nitrate Concerns When Grazing Forage Cover Crops July 9, 2018

Nitrate toxicity can be a concern when planting cover crops for forage in hail-damaged crop fields. With proper management of haying and grazing, the risk can be reduced.

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Considerations for Forage Cover Crops after Hail in Corn and Soybean July 9, 2018

If you were hit hard by hail and need to cover your fields, forage cover crops can provide an opportunity for haying or grazing as well as a protective plant layer. Plant selection is a key factor in successfully managing production.

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