RESEARCH REPORT: Corn Following Green Manure Cover Crops Established with Small Grain
Extending and diversifying a crop rotation to include a small grain presents farmers with the opportunity to generate biological soil nitrogen using forage legume(green manure) cover crops seeded in the spring and summer.
Farmer-cooperator, Dick Sloan grew corn following red clover that was frost-seeded into a cereal rye seed crop and also after a mix of forage legumes and other species established mid-summer after the cereal rye seed crop was harvested.
The findings of this project are presented in the new research report: Corn Following Green Manure Cover Crops Established with Small Grain.
Among the key findings of this project:
- In his second iteration of investigating these cropping systems, Dick improved his corn yields from the first time he tried this system in 2014.
- In 2015, corn that followed red clover out-yielded corn that followed the mix (209 vs. 186 bu/ac, respectively).
- Net returns were approximately $95 greater per acre when corn followed red clover compared to the mix.
This project is supported in part by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Division of Soil Conservation, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and the Walton Family Foundation.
You can find the full report here: Corn Following Green Manure Cover Crops Established with Small Grain.
For more information about this study and other studies as part of PFI’s Cooperators’ Program, contact Stefan Gailans at stefan@practical farmers.org.