Cereal Rye Cover Crop Termination Date Ahead of Soybeans, 2016 Update

Published Nov 30, 2016

In a Nutshell

Delaying cover crop termination until near soybean planting would allow for more biomass production by the cover crop in the spring presenting the opportunity for more environmental benefit. Two farmer-cooperators continued work they began in 2015 that compares terminating a cereal rye cover crop 2-3 weeks prior to seeding soybeans (early termination) with terminating the cover crop within 5 days of seeding soybeans (late termination).

Key findings

Jeremy Gustafson saw a 2 bu/ac increase and improved weed control with the late termination treatment in 2016. This amounted to a $49.97/ac economic benefit compared to the early termination treatment. In 2015, soybean yields were equivalent between the two termination date treatments. Jack Boyer saw no difference in soybean yields between the two cover crop termination treatments in either year. In 2015, he was able to skip a post-emergence herbicide application which saved him approx. $40/ac.