Seeding Cover Crops into Standing Corn Using Highboy Air Seeder
This year I used the grant funds to seed cover crops into corn and soybeans. I seeded mixes of ryegrass/clover, ryegrass/clover/radishes and straight ryegrass at rates of 15 or 20 lbs per acre.
I have learned weather plays a huge part in getting the cover crop established. After a wet spring and summer, the weather turned dry and we received very little rainfall (less than .5 inches) after the first week of August until the middle of November. Thankfully we received just enough rain to start it growing. The seeder needed a few design tweaks after a couple hours in the field, but once that was done, it ran well.
WORK PLAN FOR 2011
Next year we plan to manage the cover crop in the spring to get it killed and timely planted. I plan to measure yield and compare seeded and non-seeded plots. We will also see how some grazing will fit into the system. I plan on visually comparing plots throughout the growing season.
I shared information with others through personal contact, an internet forum, attending two field days talking with farmers and presenters, and through an article in No-Till Farmer. I plan on sharing a lot more next year after I get the data complete and can show actual field results. I would like to give a local demonstration and possibly host or work with a field day host to put on an event. I have also started working on a website to share my information, but it is not up yet.