By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist
Growing cover crops after soybean or silage harvest creates more challenge than after wheat. Benefits of a cover include erosion control, suppress weeds, nutrient retention and adding organic matter. If you are making manure applications after silage harvest, a cover crop to retain nutrients is a must.
Table 1. Species of cover crops to consider in Ohio after soybean or silage harvest.
|Cereal rye||A traditional cover crop. Requires close attention to management in the spring.|
|Winter triticale||Some use this for spring chop for livestock, then plant full season soybean or silage again. Watch out for Barley yellow dwarf though if planted early.|
|Winter wheat||You know this crop and it is easy to manage. Seed readily available.|
|Oats||Grazing. Won’t survive winter but will make it to about Christmas. Some graze oats or wet wrap. Often planted with oilseed radish if early.|