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OMAFRA: Does planting corn into cover crops work?

March 25, 2024  By Field Crop News

Planting corn directly into a living cover crop before it is killed by herbicide or tillage is not something that would have been considered 30 years ago. However, with advances in planter technology, herbicide options, and a greater awareness of cover crop benefits to soil health, more growers are doing it. In Ontario, while planting green for corn is not mainstream, it has also increased in popularity.

Most research trials have focused on the impact of termination timing of a cereal rye cover crop ahead of corn planting. In Ontario, corn is often planted following winter wheat, after which several different overwintering species, such as crimson clover, hairy vetch, and brassicas, can be seeded. The impact of planting corn green into such mixtures is not well known.

For those looking over the fence at these systems, the key question is: does it work? To help provide an answer, Jake Munroe, OMAFRA field crop soil management specialist, followed five Ontario corn fields during the 2023 season that were planted green into cover crop mixtures. |READ MORE



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