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Time to Terminate Fall Planted Cover Crops!

Now that spring is finally here, it’s time to start thinking about terminating the cover crops that were planted last fall, mainly the annual ryegrass and cereal rye. 

Let’s begin with the annual ryegrass. This grass has to break dormancy and be actively growing with a few inches of new growth before it can be terminated. A good rule of thumb in terminating annual ryegrass is to wait until you see yards being mowed before spraying it. This is usually a good indicator that temperatures have warmed enough for it to break dormancy and provide a little new growth. 

Keys to terminating Annual Ryegrass
• Full rate of glyphosate (32 oz./A.). 
• Spray on warm sunny day from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
• Add 8 oz./A. 2-4-D to help control winter annuals. 
• Add appropriate amount of ammonium sulfate (AMS) to adjust the water’s pH.


                                      Soybeans planted in standing Cereal Rye.

Keys to terminating Cereal Rye
• Must be actively growing.
• Use a full rate of glyphosate.
• Spray 10-14 days ahead of planting corn.
• Add appropriate amount of AMS to adjust water’s pH.

In the event of a wet spring that prevents you from terminating annual ryegrass or cereal rye before it grows too tall, I recommend planting through the live stand and then terminating it. This will help you avoid a matted mess that will cause even more problems during planting.

For more Agronomic News from Alex Johnson, Certified Crop Advisor, please visit his 

Agronomy Page 

on  For more information visit the 

Beck’s Cover Crop page


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