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Want More Yield? Broadcast Cover Crops 48 Hours After Harvest!

Many growers are beginning to ask how they should be planting cover crops. BECK’S Cover Crop Establishment Study - 2014 is designed to help answer that question. We will be looking at applying the cover crop into a standing crop when it is at the yellow leaf stage and then just prior to harvest. We will also be looking at applying the cover crop with a drill, and broadcast seeding followed by a pass with a vertical tillage tool.

When the cover crop was applied in the fall, we saw very good vegetative growth from Beck’s Bean Builder Mix on the entries that were applied into a standing crop. This was the first year for this study at the Kentucky PFR Farm. As the planting dates for the cover crop went later into the season, we saw less vegetative growth. When we look at the yield data from the soybeans that were planted into cover crop, compared to the control (drilling the cover crop 7 days after harvest), we see that we lost yield. All of the treatments that had a cover crop planted after harvest gave us a positive response in yield. We saw our best returns from broadcasting the cover crop and incorporating it with vertical tillage 48 hours after harvest.

Beck's Hybrids PFR program conducts more than 75 different studies across multiple locations (500+ acres) to learn how different management practices and new technologies perform in field environments. Simply put, it is research focused with the farmer in mind. To see the entire study, please download the PFR Book and see page 147.

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