Cover Crop - Biomass/Weed Suppression  10/31/19 8:28:23 AM


Biomass / Weed Suppression

Cover crops are an essential component of building healthy soils on the farm. They can protect soil from erosion, contribute to organic matter formation, reduce weed pressure, and break recurring pest and disease cycles. Biomass/Green Manure cover crops are non-legume cover crops that do not fix nitrogen but protect and build your soil.

Biomass / Weed Suppression Selection Grid

SPECIES

P & K Scavenger

Nitrogen
Scavenger

Soil Builder

Erosion Control

Weed Control

Quick Growth

Dry Matter (lb/A/yr) 

Cover Crop Radish

VG

E

VG

VG

E

VG

4000-7000

Dwarf Essex Rape

VG

VG

G

VG

VG

VG

2000-5000

Winter Rye

VG

E

E

E

E

E

2000-10000

Oats

F

VG

G

VG

E

E

2000-10000

Sorghum-Sudangrass

G

E

E

E

VG

E

8000-10000

E = Excellent; G = Good; F = Fair; P = Poor

Your choice of cover crop species or mixtures will depend on your crop rotation, what time of year you are planting, and the potential benefits you hope to gain:

  • Winter rye is a winter annual grain (often planted together with hairy vetch) and is good option for planting after grain corn, soybeans, wheat, or silage corn
  • Brassicas like Tillage Radish, mustard and Dwarf Essex rape put on rapid growth, break down quickly and will winterkill making them an ideal cover crop following small grains, silage corn or early soybeans
  • For maximum green manure during the hot summer months, controlling stubborn perennial weeds or repairing farmed out soils look into sorghum-Sudangrass or buckwheat
  • For a quick establishing cover crop you can plant buckwheat, yellow mustard, oats, Italian or annual ryegrasses

 

Cover Crops
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