By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off
There are many benefits cover crops offer when they are properly established. These benefits range from protecting soil, to reducing run-off of soil particles in an effort to retain nutrients, to increasing soil productivity and overall farm profitability. In some crop rotations, establishment is a challenge. Often, depending on the maturity of the cash crop, the establishment window is too late in the season to be successful for many of the species.
“Especially in a corn-soybean system, after the cash crop has been harvested for grain, it is often difficult to drill the cover crops and get sufficient growth,” said Sjoerd Duiker, Professor of Soil Management and Applied Soil Physics with Penn State University. “Many have tried to establish a cover crop while the main crop is still growing in the field. Many times, the seeding applications are very inconsistent.