Side-dressing Corn following a Winter Rye Cover Crop — Updated 2014

Published Dec 5, 2014

Using cover crops and side-dressing nitrogen fertilizer is a common bundle being investigated by Iowa farmers concerned about soil health, water quality and return on investment of cover crops. Cooperators grew corn following a winter rye cover crop and applied a low and high rate of N fertilizer in a sidedress application.

Key Findings

  • In only one of six site-years did the high side-dress N rate result in greater corn yields.
  • In most cases, by not applying the high N rate the cooperators nearly recouped the cost of establishing the cover crop with savings in N fertilizer.