Corn Leaf Architecture for Interseeded Cover Crop

Published Jan 15, 2018

In a Nutshell

An earlier seeding date opens up the opportunity for more diverse cover crops like brassicas and legumes that need more time and heat units to grow than common cover crops like cereal rye. Two farmer-cooperators interseeded cover crops (cowpeas, annual ryegrass, rapeseed) into corn at the V4 stage in June. Corn hybrids chosen exhibited vertical and horizontal leaf orientations to test whether more light penetrating the corn canopy would encourage successful cover crop establishment and growth.

Key Findings

Corn leaf orientation and corn planting population did not appear to have much of an effect on the interseeded cover crops. Jack Boyer saw corn yields reduced by an average of 24 bu/ac due to the interseeded cover crops.