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Cover crop termination timing key this spring

Farmers will have to decide when to terminate cover crops this spring.

David Kleinschmidt at Progressive Agronomy Consulting says farmers experiencing dry conditions may want to terminate early…

“The bigger the cover crop gets, the more moisture it’s going to soak up.”  He says, “So, managing that cover crop to make sure that it’s not sucking up too much moisture to make sure we have a good germination for our cash crop as well.”

Illinois farmer Derek Martin tells Brownfield wet springs are more challenging because he typically plants “green” into standing rye…

“Temperature and rain are my biggest concerns, you know? Was it ‘19? I think it was a wet spring.”  He says, “We just couldn’t get in. We couldn’t drive a sprayer. You couldn’t plant. You couldn’t do anything. And that cereal rye got 6 foot tall just because we couldn’t get across the field.”

Whichever way farmers decide, Kleinschmidt says…

“We’ve got to start with the end insight and understand that our ultimate goal throughout all of this is we cannot sacrifice our cash crop just for soil health.”  He says, “They have to work together and they have to complement each other.”

Martin says terminating rye when temperatures are in the 70’s consecutive days have given them the best results.

AUDIO : David Kleinschmidt – Progressive Agronomy Consulting

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