Posted 12/1/2016 07:13 (#5668329 - in reply to #5668098) Subject: RE: Cereal Rye termination date ahead of soybeans, on-farm research results
I am entering my 4th full year of using cereal rye as a cover directly in front of soybeans. My goal is to terminate the rye within 24 hours either side of planting the cash crop. I would echo the findings on saving on herbicied costs. I plan and budget a full herbicide program every year for seed and conventional soybeans. Never have used the full amount. Last year I was able to get by with just over $20/acre of total herbicide costs. I'm on board with the herbicied cost savings but I have never left a check strip to verify yield differences.
This year I am planning on looking more into the soil health benefits of cover crops on the farm by conducting a soil health test just prior to termination. I will also take above ground cuttings of all cover growth, dry it down to determine biomass and conduct a nutrient analysis of the biomass. My question is this: Have you taken and seen side by side differences in soil health test results where the cover was growing versus bare soil? I sprayed roundup on a small patch of rye/winter rapeseed within a field of cover to terminate the patch before winter. When I do my testing next spring of the field I will also pull a sample from the no cover area to compare. A fall soil health test of this particular field returned my highest readings of the season. Excited to see what spring results are.