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Cover crop twist after W. Wheat
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Posted 11/8/2012 18:05 (#2686202)
Subject: Cover crop twist after W. Wheat

Southeast WI
  Cover Crop Trial - Corn following W. Wheat, High N Rate
Tom Novak - Pleasant Valley Acres, LLC - Sullivan, WI
COORDINATOR(S):Tom Novak - Total Crop Mgmt., LLC / Heidi Johnson - Jefferson Co. UWEX
COOPERATOR:Tom NovakPROVIDED BY:Tom Hoffmann - Whitewater
LOCATION:PalmyraFARM/FIELD:Christensen 5
PLANTING DATE:04/27/12TILLAGE SYSTEM:Long-term No-till
HARVEST DATE:10/24/12SOIL SERIES/TEXTURE:Kidder sandy loam
PLANTING POPULATION:32000seeds/acreSOIL FERTILITY (ppm):pH 6.9, OM 1.8%, P 102, K 69
HARVEST POPULATION:(not practical)ears/acreTREATMENTS:see notes section
ROW SPACING:30"STARTER SOURCE:4-10-10 @ 200 lbs/a, 2*2 placement
AVG. HARVESTED PLOT SIZE:0.295acreNITROGEN SOURCE:Poultry manure August '11 + 32%
UAN side-dress
Notes:This field has been in continuous no-till since I began renting it in 2005 and it is in tough shape due to conventional
tillage being used on it for decades.  Major erosion has occurred leaving thin soils and subsoil being farmed in areas.
With no-tillage used for the past 7 years soil structure and aggregation has returned and earthworm/nightcrawler
activity is abundant.  It has also been limed as needed and had poultry manure applied yearly since renting it.
Introducing cover crops is the next step in restoring the soil to increasingly better health and a higher yielding level.
Cover crops can increase the water holding capacity, alleviate compaction and possibly make nutrients more available.
However, compaction doesn't appear to be an issue with the amount of biological activity this field has now.
Early planting in 2012 was extremely detrimental to yield as you can see below.  This field was completely done trying
to pollinate when it began raining on July 18th.  4-5" of rain fell over the next 10 days, but 3-4' tall corn cannot yield 
very well once pollination is messed up and poor or no ears are set.  Covers were planted on 8/29/11 into fairly
dry soil but they established well.  An early frost in late Sept. killed the Sudax at 8-12" tall but the other crops grew till
I terminated them in early November with Glyphosate/2,4-D ester.  Strips are 30' wide with center 6 rows harvested.
Trtmts:(1)  No cover crop
(2)  Tillage Radish @ 8 lbs/a, drilled on 7" spacing (seed cost $25/a)
(3)  Tillage Radish @ 3 lbs/a, Oats @ 29 lbs/a, Sudax @ 5 lbs/a, drilled on 7" spacing (seed cost $23/a)
Plot #Trtmt #HybridApplied N*Weight MoistureT.W.LengthWidthYield @ 15.5%
12Golden H-7628 3111158127519.6na85818073.3
23Golden H-7628 3111158116519.4na85818067.2
31Golden H-7628 3111158129521.1na85818073.1
43Golden H-7628 3111158120523.1na85818066.3
52Golden H-7628 3111158102021.0na85818057.6
61Golden H-7628 3111158129019.7na85818074.1
72Golden H-7628 3111158118021.1na85818066.6
81Golden H-7628 3111158145519.9na85818083.4
93Golden H-7628 3111158113021.2na85818063.7
Plot average:    20.7   69.5
3 Rep Average:  Mst.T.W. Yield-bu/a 
(1)No cover crop20.2na76.9 
(2)Tillage Radish @ 8 lbs/a20.6na65.8 
(3)T.R. @ 8 lbs/a, Oats @ 29 lbs/a, Sudax @ 5 lbs/a21.2na65.7 
Bottom Line:Cover crop strips were 11 bpa less than the no cover strips.  One year of data but very real 
 results.  The entire field was brown in Spring - no growing crops to take moisture, but in this
 year that's about the only thing I can think of that caused yield loss like this.  A very warm March
 with little rain was followed by 2.8" in April and 5.1" in May before the rain shut off for 7 weeks
 that included several 100+ degree days and many days in the low-upper 90's.  The 2011 wheat crop
  yielded 83 bpa and straw was spread back on the field so all treatments had good ground cover.
All weighing was done by Heidi Johnson - Jefferson Co. UWEX 
* =  Poultry manure provided approximately 100 units of N according to UW rec's + 158 lbs applied N as 32%.
Tom Novak - Total Crop Management, LLC - (262) 903-0698            
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