No-Tillers Share New Approaches to Seeding Fall Cover Crops

A: I have a Montag Mfg. air cart for dry fertilizer that I’m using to plant cereal rye in 30-inch rows after corn harvest — at least until it gets too wet — then I’ll go back to broadcast surface application. It always works.

The idea is to have a thicker stand in that 30-inch band because next spring the soybeans in 15-inch rows will be only 7½ inches off of the root mass created. For the soybean ground after harvest I’ll still broadcast barley and cereal rye for ground cover and plant corn the following year. 

— Gene Witte, Decatur, Ind.

A: I plan to plant cereal rye, radish and winter pea after oats and peas are harvested. The goal is to have a good stand of rye next spring to plant corn or soybeans into. The farm is organic, so the main goal is to suppress weeds. But of course the covers are great for the soil, too.

— Rye Carlson, Mora, Minn.

A: I grow quinoa in the central Andes. I’ll try legume cover crops for the fall/rainy season. My approach will be trying native Lupin species adapted to the highlands. I’ll use a roller-crimper adapted to a small tractor. I think there’s potential for new legumes to be associated with quinoa and improve nitrogen (N) sequestration.

— Alfonso Suarez, Ecuador

A: We plan to reduce the seeding rate of our cover crop. For years we seeded cereal rye at 2 bushels per acre but this fall…

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