No-Till Roundtable: What unanswered questions do you have about cover crops? What more do you want to learn?

A: I farm a lot of heavy prairie soils that are inherently wet. In the fall when it’s too wet to drill, how do you plant a winter cover or forage crop? Broadcasting seems to be hit or miss for a good stand unless you incorporate the seed to some degree. Does anyone have a magic idea or different way to make a good stand happen?

— Jim Bell, Richards, Mo. 

A: What differences are there among different cover crops with potential allelopathic effects — especially with cereal rye and triticale? We’ve found allelopathic effects on grasses with different brassica plants. 

— John Stigge, Washington, Kan. 

A: The problem for me is selecting a residual and post strategy for herbicides with cover crops. There are countless residual and post products, but I’m not sure what chemistries are best given the surface residue and not wanting to influence fall establishment of the next cover crop.

I would also like to know more about roller crimping and determining the correct time. I’m hearing that the window for crimping cereal rye is so narrow that it’s difficult to be successful.

— Jack Gable, Peru, Ind. 

A: Most cover crop decisions in our area of northern Indiana are limited to the few grasses capable of surviving being seeded post corn and soybean harvest, unless we use an airplane or high-boy. We don’t like the results of airplanes and highboys compared to post-harvest…

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