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Cover Crop Options in 2015

Mike Stanyard, Team Leader, Field Crops
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

August 7, 2015
Cover Crop Options in 2015

There has been a huge emphasis on soil health, and cover crops are an important piece of this puzzle. There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a cover crop species (See table). You have to ask yourself, "What do I want to accomplish?" is it soil conservation, increase organic content, a trap crop for nitrogen, comply with conservation payments or weed control? Some other things to consider is cost (See table). Do you want a species that winterkills or overwinters? Is compaction an issue? Do I need some extra forage? We know that there is a benefit to keeping something growing and covering our fields at all times. It looks like there is also a benefit to planting multiple species together. Mixing tap root and fibrous root species together helps create soil microorganism biodiversity.

We know radishes do a great job of loosening up the soil when there is a compaction issue. However, there is some concern that we may not get the nitrogen back that we put into them. Radishes degrade very quickly in the early spring. Is all the nitrogen gone by the time the corn is ready for it? It might be more beneficial to plant an overwintering species like a winter grain or ryegrass with the radish to pick up that N and keep it around longer so the corn can utilize it when it needs it most.

We have seen cover crops planted with many different drills, air flowed, broadcast and aerially applied. All can be successful; however, proper calibration can be tedious and frustrating. Most planters do not have settings for some of these non-traditional plants. Take the time to work it out! You do not want to waste your time by putting on too little and you do not want to waste money by putting on way too much.

Preventative Planting Acres
If a cover crop is being planted following a planned corn or soybean crop, check herbicide labels if a pre-emerge was applied. Some of the small seeded cover species may not be able to be planted due to plant back restrictions. Penn State has a great herbicide reference table for cover crops, http://extension.psu.edu/plants/crops/soil-management/cover-crops/herbicide-persistence/herbicide-carryover-table. The folks at Purdue University have also put out good a reference, "Cover Crops for Prevented Planting Acres," https://ag.purdue.edu/agry/extension/Documents/PreventedPlantingCovers2015.pdf.

Extra Forage
There are a couple of options for the early August planting date. A common choice is spring/forage oats. They are usually in the boot stage by mid-October. I have seen from 1.5 to 2 tons dry matter per acre. You can add annual ryegrass to the mix and field peas or clover if higher protein is desired. Planting winter triticale has become popular after corn silage harvest. It is harvested in May just after flag stage emergence (GS 9). We have seen 2-4 tons of dry matter per acre in NY. See the Winter Triticale Forage factsheet at http://nmsp.cals.cornell.edu/publications/factsheets/factsheet56.pdf for specifics.



Cover Crop Species (pdf; 19KB)


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Upcoming Events

2019 Corn Silage Pre-Harvest Workshop - Penn Yan

September 17, 2019
10:00am to Noon
Penn Yan, NY

Corn silage harvest is drawing near. The way corn silage is harvested and stored is a single event that affects your operation for the entire next year. Are you prepared to set your operation up for success? 
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Ontario County Fun on the Farm

September 21, 2019
11:00 am- 4:00 pm
Seneca Castle, NY

Fun on the Farm works to educate non-farm public and our neighbors about agriculture around them. It is fun and educational.

Fun on the Farm attracts thousands of people and gives us the opportunity to communicate to the community the benefits of the agricultural production in Ontario County, the state, and the nation.

The event is free! There are many agricultural products that are available to be sampled. It is the perfect place to try that product you have seen in the store but didn't want to commit to purchasing.

Food is available to purchase for lunch. It is provided by a local service group.
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Bovine Reproduction and AI Training Course

September 24 - September 25, 2019
9:30am - 3:30pm
Shortsville, NY

**CLASS IS FULL**

This two-day AI workshop will be held on September 24 and 25. 

Topics covered will include:

• Reproductive Physiology
• Synchronization Protocols
• Heat Detection
• Artificial Insemination
• Proper Thawing of Semen
• Loading A.I. guns
• Practice Breeding Cows

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Announcements

Preventing Sexual Harassment on Farms

If you're wondering how to get your farm business in compliance with NYS Sexual Harassment Regulations, you've come to the right place.  The 2018 New York State budget included new regulations addressing sexual harassment in the workplace that became effective on October 9, 2018 for all New York employers, including agricultural employers. All employers are required to have a sexual harassment prevention policy and to provide annual, interactive sexual harassment prevention training for all employees.  Check out the resources developed by Cornell Ag Workforce Development, including step-by-step instructions and farm-friendly training videos.


RMA Announces Additional One-time Changes to Prevented Planting Provisions

June 29, 2019

RMA Announces Additional One-time Changes to Prevented Planting Provisions
for 2019 Crop Year

In response to delayed and prevented planting resulting from above average rainfall and wetness, the USDA Risk Management Agency has made a one-time change to the 2019 crop year prevented planting rules that effectively allows silage corn, if planted as a cover crop following local agricultural expert guidelines, to be acceptable as a post-prevented planting cover crop. Under this one-time rule change, producers are allowed to produce this crop while retaining their prevented planting payment. This change couples with previously announced one-time changes to the prevented planting rules - including expanded acceptable uses for post-prevented planting cover crops and a change in the cover crop haying and grazing start date rule - serve to help those struggling to meet their forage needs due to the weather.

Read the full article from the New York Crop Insurance Education Program.

The USDA-RMA states that "For crop insurance purposes, a cover crop is a crop generally recognized by agricultural experts as agronomically sound for the area for erosion control or other purposes related to conservation or soil improvement." PRO-DAIRY specialists Joe Lawrence and Karl Czymmek and Dr. Quirine Ketterings, Professor and Director of Cornell Nutrient Management Spear Program have released a letter stating "Corn on Prevented Planting acres meets these objectives."


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