Accommodating Cover Crops with Early Maturing Corn and Soybeans
In a Nutshell
Seeding cover crops earlier in the fall can translate to greater fall and spring biomass and may present the opportunity for more diverse cover crop species selection. Early maturing varieties of corn (104105-day) and soybean (1.0 group) were grown in southwest Iowa in an attempt to harvest earlier in the fall and seed cover crops earlier in the fall.
Planting early maturing varieties of corn and soybean generally did not result in yield drag compared to the late maturing varieties typically grown in southwest Iowa. The exception was in 2015 when the early maturing soybeans yielded less. Cover crop biomass produced tended not to differ between the early and late maturity corn-soybean systems. Seeding cover crops earlier in the fall, following the early maturing corn and soybean varieties, proved to be a challenge.