Area One Farms Research 2017: Cover Crops

A small bit of seed for a large area

A small bit of seed for a large area

What’s Up?

Our Cover Crops have been planted and their coming up! East view: 20 acres of Ultimate Forage Blend, 20 acres of Pinpoint Blend. Down to Earth, 20 acres of Ultimate Forage Blend with one tillage style and 32 acres of Ultimate Forage Blend with a different tillage style.

Ultimate Forage Blend

30.00% Hairy Vetch
25.00% Green Spirit
15.00% Brown Mid Rib Sorghum 10.00% Crimson Clover
10:00% Winfred Brassica
5:00% Graza Forage Radish

Pinpoint Blend

45.00% Green Spirit Italian Rye Grass
20.00% Hybrid Sorghum Sudan
10.00% Bardic Forage Brassica
7.00% T Rapter Hybrid Brassica
5.00% CW0604 Teff Grass
5.00% Laser Persion Clover

Plus Field Peas 10 lbs per acre
Plus Black Oil Sunflower 2 lbs per acre

Seeding Plot 9 and 10 @ Eastview

June 16th
Pinpoint Mixture Soil
26.0 C
Ambient 24-28 C
Depth 1 inch

Seeding Plot 9 and 10 @ Eastview

June 17th
Forage Pea @ 15 lbs/acre
Black Oil Sunflower 2 lbs/acre
Inoculant
Depth 2 inches

Seeding Plot 11 and 12

June 17th
Ultimate Forage Blend
10/acre
Soil 26.4 C
Ambient 24-28 C
Depth 1 inch

Seeding DTE 52 acres

June 20th
Ultimate Forage Blend
9 1/2 lbs/acre
Soil 27.6
Ambient 29-31 C
Depth 1 inch

Results

The No-till seeded crop wins! Sort of! The Eastview plots have far better emergence with the dry conditions since seeding. There is a great stand and if we can catch a rain, these fields will explode with plant life.

One challenge is that Roundup Ready Canola has come on strong in the crop. This after the land was sprayed to control that in the original wheat. Canola has not been planted on this land for four years so it was a real surprise how much came after a spring control pass. We are now using the comb cut to try and keep the canola from seeding itself further. Note to self: you have to really think about weed control for cover crops. In this case we didn’t consider that a crop 4 years ago in the rotation would still be a significant factor. With chemistry, this volunteer canola is easily handled in the rotation, but spray options are much reduced for multi-species cover crops. This is something to learn about...

The tillage seeded plots at Down to Earth are a disaster. Emergence is extremely poor and without rain, we are getting a ton of weed pressure. It is a huge dilemma what to do. We’ll keep you posted!

Up Next!

Our in-crop testing is next on the agenda: We will be doing 7 tests on the plots: Water infiltration test, Pentrometer, EC, pH, Brix and Solvita C02 tests. Should be interesting!

WaxWaneComment