Determining what Multi species (8 or More) cover crop mixes perform well in a corn and soybean crop rotation
This past year VanTilburg Farms, Inc. planted three soybean fields and two corn fields in Indiana and Ohio, with all fields approximately 40 acres. Each field was seeded with three different cocktail mixes comprised of eight species each. Corn was seeded August 12th and 20th, 2013, while beans were seeded September 3rd and 5th, 2013. Corn seeding was delayed, since the seed was not delivered on time. Due to a summer storm that blew down corn, one field could not be driven through to be planted and it was too late in the season to replace the field. In total, thirteen different mixes were used for a series of nine trials each in the corn and bean fields. Plots in Ohio were seeded in very dry conditions and received the first rain of 1.06 inches on September 21 and again on October 6. The Indiana fields received adequate moisture on September 12.
After harvest signs were installed showing the mixture applied in each strip, newsletters were mailed to over 300 known crop farmers in the area. Information on the plots was also shared with the local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) in Jay and Adams counties in Indiana, as well as Mercer and Van Wert counties in Ohio. The initially scheduled field day planned for November 14, 2013 was postponed due to weather until November 26. During that short time there was a frost, killing vulnerable species very early, leaving almost nothing to show during the field day.
Plots were surveyed March 20 and 27, 2014 and were somewhat scarce due to the dry fall, rough start and severe winter weather, which showed an evident winter kill in all plot species. The knowledge gained was the corn plots can be seeded even earlier and the goal for the 2014 year is to do some prior to tasseling and rest around August 1. The bean fields were mostly affected by the dry fall at seeding and did not have growth as expected.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
8495 South State Route 1
Keystone, IN 46759
Office Phone: 2602731717
6974 Mercer Road
Mendon, OH 45862
Office Phone: 4197933421