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Dad… just think
what we can do
with RTK guidance
on this farm!
Are you familiar with the term
What is PRECISION COVER CROPPING???
1) Selection and management of cover crops to
achieve specific objectives
2) Strategic placement of cover crops in specific
fields or parts of fields
3) Planting of cover crops with a precision planter
4) strategic placement of cover crop rows in relation
to other cover cover rows and/or the following cash
crop rows (often using GPS guidance)
2012 – SARE
Franzluebbers AJ and JA Stuedemann. 2008.
Soil physical responses to cattle grazing cover
crops under conventional and no tillage in the
Southern Piedmont USA.
Soil and Tillage Research 100, 141-153.
• Cover crops (winter or summer) can provide highquality forage and increase economic return and
farm diversity, but some farmers have been
reluctant to take this advantage due to perceived
“compaction” caused by animal trampling.
• Grazing of cover crops can compact soil, but
not to the detrimental levels often perceived.
Growing Degree Days - Aledo, IL
( date -> 12/31, base 40)
There is substantial variation between years.
**If fall growth is key, plant before 9/1**
The new version of
Green Cover Seed’s
Smart Mix Calculator will
include a GDD calculator
We have made some progress in predicting plant available N
Targeted planting of cover crops may be
able to substitute for conservation
How many of you have
grassed waterways (or
structures) on your farm?
Targeted planting of cover crops should
be able to increase the performance of
Cover crops can provide
beneficial insect habitat
along field borders
Cover crop cocktail
containing rapeseed, radish,
sunflower, buckwheat, corn
and soybeans drilled into a
Aerial application can
target specific parts of
fields or adjust the rate of
application across fields.
The row-bot can
be used to seed
cover crops one
row at a time.
payload of 400 lbs
= cover crop seed
for many acres.
This is how I did interseeding
with rye and radishes this year.
It took about 5 hrs to cover 15
acres of standing 36" corn.
Wasn't able to get a plane so
this is what I came up with. It
worked really well surprisingly. I
will be buying a high boy to
convert next year to do cover
crop seeding and spraying with.
NRCS dead line is Sept 15 so I
had to just get it done this year.
Had one close encounter with a
coyote but he was moving pretty
“I had a hat, safety glasses, full face shield, gloves, long
sleeve shirt with a regular t-shirt over it, jeans and boots.
Only skin showing was on the back of my neck. This is a
buyers seeder had a flow control valve on the bottom and
I could turn the spinner on and off on the bike. I pretty
well kept moving and would stop very few rows to fill. Had
my dad running around on the ranger with seed, water,
rags and gas. We pre-measured an acre at a time he had
it ready when I would get to the end row. I could spread 7
but I overlapped one on each side my goal was 35lbs an
acre rye and 2lbs an acre radishes. So I went about every
5-6 rows. Speed wasn't a problem since I stayed in 1st
gear and pretty consistent. After the first 2 loads we had it
pretty dialed in.”
Opportunities for planting cover crops
• Dormant seeding early or late winter
• Frost seeding
• When planting summer crops
• Prevent plant scenarios
• After weed-free window
• After small grains
• After vegetables
• After seed corn or silage corn
• Aerial or high clearance seeding into standing crops in
late summer/early fall
• After early corn/bean grain harvest
• After full season corn/bean grain harvest
through the rest of the season
= missed opportunity
“I broadcast 10 lbs/acre of crimson clover at
sidedress time (6/6/12). We got essentially no rain
from the first week of May until the last week of
July. I figured the clover wouldn't grow, but it laid
there until we got rain and by harvest we had a
I'm not sure how this would work in a 'normal'
year, but it sure worked good this year. I left some
check strips and the clover didn't affect the yield.
The seeder was just an old 12V spinner seeder I
clamped onto our N toolbar”
I wonder how well
this crimson clover
Radish planted on 30” rows using
small milo plates in mid-August 2010
Corn following cover crop experiment (2011)
Cover crop system
Radishes planted on 30”
Radishes drilled on 7.5”
Corn planted over radish rows w/o GPS guidance
Precision radishes w/o peas
Precision planted radishes w/ peas from 5 ft of row
What is the optimal population
for precision planted radishes?
The full seeding rate (~ 11 lbs per acre,
~16 seeds per foot) ended up producing
the most root and shoot biomass
Planting corn was a real
struggle due to the extreme
wetness in spring 2013
We seriously considered abandoning our
controlled traffic plans but ended up
prepping the field for planting with
a high residue cultivator.
Planting into weedy ridges fully tested our 4 row ridge-till
planter but we ended up with 20 – 28K across the field
Yields ranged from ~160 to ~ 190
bu/acre with no significant
differences between treatments
We are encouraged to
continue with our strategic
row placement research
----- Original Message ----From: "Thomas Björkman" <tnb1@CORNELL.EDU>
Sent: Saturday, March 1, 2014 6:58:34 AM
Subject: Re: : winter hardiness of winter lentil and common vetch
Fast-growing in the fall and winter-hardy may be a difficult
combination to obtain.
For many fall-established annual and biennial species, it is only
the seedling that will harden off well. Once the plant begins to
grow, the ability to harden is much reduced. As a rule of thumb, to
get maximum hardiness the seedling should be large enough that
the root is anchored against frost heaving, but not so big that the
stem is growing.
A couple of familiar examples; Winter-hardy small grains make
more stems in the fall but they do not grow; winter hardy crucifers
remain rosettes (no stem enlargement), but make more leaves.
A little extra N can make a big difference
+20 lbs N/a
Preceded by spring
planted radish :-<
CCs had a high
price in 2012
Why is there rapeseed on the edge of this bean field?
Insecticide boxes can be used for metering small seeds