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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

Weed Resistance Management Demonstration and Plot Tour

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 23, 2019
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Waterloo, NY

Come join us on July 23 in Seneca County at Quinten Good's farm for a demonstration and walking tour of 16 different pre- and post-emergence treatments in soybean and 12 different treatments and combinations in corn.
  • Tall waterhemp and marestail are two weeds that are resistant to glyphosate and ALS herbicide modes of action in the WNY and Finger Lakes regions.
  • Each year the number of acres with resistant weed populations expands.
  • For herbicides to be an effective tool in weed management, we have to know what chemistries & application timings are most effective against these resistant weeds.

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Income and Real Property Tax Primer-A Learning Circle for Women Non-Operating Land Owners of Ag Land

July 24, 2019
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Portageville, NY

For many of us taxes can be a mystery, let's have a conversation with the experts about the tax considerations agricultural landowners need to think about. 
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Pasture Walk with the Finger Lakes Graziers-Cancelled!

July 29, 2019
12:45 - 4 pm

The Finger Lakes Graziers pasture walk has been cancelled due to some scheduling conflicts. 
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Announcements

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."


New Guidance for Mortality Disposal Issued

NYS Department of Ag and Markets has posted guidelines on disposal of livestock carcasses, in response to reports that some rendering companies have halted pickups from farms.

https://nwnyteam.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=761&crumb=dairy|1

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