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.

Winter Rye Following Corn Silage for Reduced N-leaching and Increased Forage Production

Objective was to measure the effect of rye cover crop following corn silage on subsequent forage yields and soil nitrates. Author: Jim Stute, Joshua Posner More »

Fall Legume Nitrogen from Plowdown Crop Preceding Corn Phase at Arlington (1991-2006).

This table shows the annual N contribution from plowdown forages in the various systems of WICST.  It combines the aboveground and belowground biomass and N levels for 3-yr old alfalfa, 2-yr old alfalfa, 6-mo old red clover, and 2-mo old berseem clover. More »

Increasing Crop Rotation Diversity: A Comparison of Conventional Grain Systems on WICST (1998-2006).

Since the mid-20th century, with the advent of cheap fertilizer and herbicides, many farmers have adopted high chemical input, low cropping diversity systems. However, the recent trend of increasingly high input costs has more and more farmers rethinking this strategy. As crude oil costs have skyrocketed (>$130/barrel in July 2008), many inputs derived [...] More »

Using Small Grain Cover Crop Alternatives to Diversify Crop Rotations.

Increasing the sustainability of farming systems by adding small grains and legume cover crops to the corn-soybean rotation was examined. Production and economic data collected from participating farmers indicate that small grain yields were 25% above state averages and high quality grain resulted in 25% higher prices at the elevator. Synthetic N fertilizer inputs were [...] More »

Cropping system three Chemlite satellite trial-Arlington, 1995 and 1996

In spite of very low corn yields in 1992 and 1993, and below average wheat yields, almost every year, Cropping System 3 (CS3) has been at least as profitable as the continuous corn system. It is not clear however, how much of the profitability of CS3 is due to the zero purchased input philosophy [...] More »

On-farm evaluation of legume seeded after winter wheat

Growers whose crop rotation includes winter wheat can reduce nitrogen costs by planting a legume green manure with or after wheat.  The objective of this study is to compare two promising legumes” berseem clover and annual medic to hairy vetch for productivity under real farm conditions. Authors: J. Stute and T. Mulder More »

Legume Cover Crop Options for Grain Rotations in Wisconsin

Abstract: Use of forage legumes as cover crops in the year prior to corn (Zea mays L.) is one way to reduce the amount of N fertilizer used in corn production. This study evaluated several forage legumes for dry matter (DM) production druing the seeding year when established in grain rotations. Field studies [...] More »