I toured my fields on Friday, December 17, to document the results of cover crops planted in rather desperate conditions back in the fall. The purpose of the video is to show that even late, poorly planted cover crops are doing some good if one takes the time to look at ground level. My experiences this fall were also a good case study of seed-to-soil contact. Creative methods we used to get good contact in the mud paid off when compared to broadcasting.
CISCO Seeds, Robison Farms, and Dougherty Fertilizer are sponsoring a Cover Crop Field Day and Root Dig at the Greenwood, Indiana farm. If you’ve not had an opportunity to see cover crops in a real life farm setting, this will be a great meeting for you . There will be multiple species available to look at and expert agronomists on hand to answer questions.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 from 2-4 P.M.
Corner of Five Point Road (300 East) and Main Street (Rocklane Road) east of Greenwood, IN
If you have questions or need further information contact Don Robison at email@example.com or 317-357-7013
- Rain or shine we will have a gathering (call if the weather is bad for “plan B”)
Cover Crop Field Day Highlights
- 1100’ lineal feet of cover crop plots
- 10 different mixes or straight species shown
- guaranteed weather! (not saying what kind)
- working with NRCS, SWCD, and Dougherty Fertilizer
- root digs (weather contingent)
- Cover Crop Agronomists on hand for tours and Q/A sessions
- See over 150 acres of various Cover Crops withing 1/2 mile of plots
Purpose of the cover crop field day
To see different species of cover crops in a real to life situation. This was a soybean field that had the cover crops applied over the top of the standing crop at roughly 50% leaf drop.
Species You Will See
- Crimson Clover
- Winter Rye
- Annual Ryegrass
- Austrian Winter Peas
- Several Mixes including the above species
- Take I-65 South to Exit 99. Turn Left at end of ramp and travel 1.5 miles east to the plots
- Take I-65 North to Exit 99. Turn Right at end of ramp and travel 1.5 miles east to the plots
From Columbus, OH
- Take I-70 West to Indianapolis, follow 465 South to I-65 South to Exit 99. Turn Left at end of ramp and travel 1.5 miles east to the plots
From Terre Haute
- Take I-70 East to Indianapolis, follow 465 South to I-65 South to Exit 99. Turn Left at end of ramp and travel 1.5 miles east to the plots
Planting Cover Crop Radishes with Wheat – A Growing Practice
Cover crop radishes planted with wheat at seeding time?
Last year I posted about how farmers in NW Ohio are seeing increases in wheat yields by 4-7 bu/acre by planting 2-4# of cover crop radishes in with their wheat seed. In the fall of 2010 there were more acres of wheat planted in Indiana, Ohio and lower Michigan than in many years before, and several of those acres had radishes planted with them with the hope of increasing yields.
Several test plots were planted as well. Unfortunately, the seed was planted into very dry soil and it did not rain until late October or early November so the radishes grew very little (if at all). So the grand “radish seed planted in with the wheat seed” experiment was pretty much a flop in 2010 in the eastern Corn Belt. However, I heard reports from Oklahoma and New York that claimed to see value in this practice. By the way, 2# per acre is plenty. 4#/acre is too much seed.
How to Mix Cover Crop Radish Seed with Wheat Seed
As I have shared about this potential practice around the Midwest I often-times get the question, “How do I mix the radish seed with the wheat seed?”
I first mention the “coffee can and paddle” approach of adding the seed. As you fill the drill add some radishes and use a paddle (or even a tree limb) to stir it in. With that approach I usually get a confused and almost angry look from producers that think I am mocking them (Seriously, I am not!).
Since most farmers are more sophisticated than that I recommend adding the radish seed to the wheat seed at the seed house. Then I get angry calls from the wheat seed suppliers about adding a “weed seed” into their bagging system!
So I have concluded that the easiest way (and the way to recommend that will not get me in hot water) is to add the radish seed with the fertilizer that will be applied just before or after the wheat is planted.
I’m open to suggestions. If any of you do this differently will you please help out our fellow wheat producers? Thanks!