Archive | Small Grains & Cover Crops

Small grains and cover crops have been a major focus of WICST. They can play a key role in diversifying and reducing purchased inputs in many cropping systems. WICST has also conducted numerous on-farm and on-station trials with oats, wheat, rye and with several cover crops, and in recent years has worked to fine-tune management and reduce risks associated with relying on cover crops for nitrogen.

Effect of previous crop on switchgrass production in southern Wisconsin

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) was identified as a potential bioenery production decades ago and more recently has been plugged by former President G.W. Bush in his 2006 State of the Union Address. As a result, in 2007 the US DoE funded a $125 million project at the UW CALS known as the Great Lakes Bioenergy [...] More »

Tartary buckweat less effective than common buckwheat as a summer cover crop in southern Wisconsin

Systematic assessment of novel crops and management techniques are practical objectives of agricultural field research. This study sought to expand the cover cropping toolkit available to WI farmers with a series of on-station experiments using buckwheat (Fagopyrum spp). Cover crops provide many benefits to farms and the environment, including improving soil quality and fertility, weed [...] More »

Multi-crop annual forage production for improved manure management in Wisconsin

The objectives of this study was to develop annual forage crop systems that 1) create summer windows for manure spreading, 2) effectively utilizes the manure, 3) is economically as well as environmentally sound, 4) is competitive with corn silage yields, and 5) produces forage of high feeding value. Author: Kathy Vazquez and J. Posner More »

Organic No-Tillage Winter Rye-Soybean Systems: Weed Community Dynamics

We conducted research in 2008 and 2009 near Arlington, Wisconsin to determine the effects of a winter rye cover crop for no-tillage organic soybean production on weed management and the weed community dynamics relative to a tillage-intensive approach (plowing, tine weeding, and cultivation). Our specific objectives were to determine the effect of rye management [...] More »

Organic No-Tillage Winter Rye-Soybean Systems: Agronomic, Economic, and Environmental Assessment

We conducted research to determine some of the agronomic, economic, and environmental risks associated with the use of winter rye cover crop in no-till organic soybean production systems. Our objectives were to determine the effect of rye management (plowing, crimping, and mowing), and soybean planting date (mid-May or early June) on soil moisture availability, [...] More »

Oats Date-of-Planting Study 1997-1998

In the 1990’s, oat yields averaged between 60 and 75 bu/a in the upper Midwest and were grown mainly for supplemental feed and straw for livestock. However, on farm research has shown that when oats are well managed, 100 bu/acre yields of high quality oats are common (see “A Farmer’s Guide to Quality [...] More »

Summer Seeded Cover Crops 1996-1999

Leguminous cover crops are potentially important phases in rotations due to their beneficial effects on soil nutrients, organic matter accumulation and the prevention of erosion. These cover crops can be planted with or subsequently to a small grain which is harvested midway through the growing season. Although cover crops are cheaper [...] More »

Variety and Planting Date Demonstration for Organic Small Grain Cover Crops

Cover crop characteristics may be an important factor in the management and success of an organic no-till grain system. A typical rotation includes a fall-planted small grain cover crop following corn harvest and preceding soybean planting. In the upper Midwest, rye is the small grain cover crop of choice due to its cold [...] More »

Using Rye as a Cover Crop in Organic Soybeans

This report was the result of an independent project that includes a literature review on using rye as a mulch and an allelopathic crop.  It was the prelude to a Master Degree project using on-farm and on-station plots. Author: Emily Bernstein More »

Cover crop after wheat harvest for reduced N-leaching and increased forage production

The objective in this trial was to help transition from the small grain phase to the subsequent corn phase, including the addition of manure. The conflict is if manure is added, it is better to incorporate it, and if incorporated, the grower will loose the ground cover that is afforded by the wheat stubble. [...] More »