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Cover crop options for 2015

July 10, 2015 - There are many opportunities to include cover crops in your rotation. The goal is to keep the soil covered with at least 30 per cent crop, cover crop or residue, 100 per cent of the time. A second goal is to have living roots in the soil as much as possible. Research at University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus has shown that planting a cover crop provides a benefit, even if the growth is limited. So consider the options below and find a way to reap the benefits of cover crops.

Interseeding into Corn

There is a fair bit of interest in interseeding cover crops into standing corn. Different seeding times have been tried from the five to six leaf stage of corn to tassel stage to when the canopy begins to open up late summer or early fall. The most success in Ontario has been with seeding annual ryegrass and/or a clover at the 5 to 6 leaf stage of corn. Some growers have developed equipment to plant the cover crop or to move some soil after broadcasting the seed. Most broadcast the seed. Seeding rates are generally: 15 to 25 lbs/ acre for ryegrass. A good general rule of thumb for broadcasting cover crop seed is to add 20 per cent to the drilled in rate.

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July 13, 2015
By Adam Hayes OMAFRA