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gil.gullickson
Veteran Contributor

Killing cover crops before planting

All,

For those of you who are planting cover crops, ever have trouble killing them prior to planting? I talked to one farmer in Missouri a couple years ago who swore he would never plant annual ryegrass again as a cover crop. in his view, it was almost like a noxious weed because its deep roots--great for shattering compaction--also gave it great resistance to being killed with glyphosate.

 

On the other hand, though, I know several famers in Indiana who have had pretty good luck with killing annual rye. One farmer told me the key was spraying glyphosate between 10 and 3 on a sunny day. This helped ensure the stomates of the annual ryegrass were open to take in the glyphosate. On the down side, during some springs, it's hard to find a sunny day for plants to do this!

 

Just curious how it has worked for you.

 

Thanks,

Gil Gullickson

Crops Technology Editor

 

 

 

 

 

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9 Replies
wrightcattle
Veteran Advisor

Re: Killing cover crops before planting

perhaps just flash Graze em hard....right to the dirt.

 

you can probably pick up 75 to 150 lbs per acre of net cattle gain per acre....soo pays bout $200 per acre to graze it Hard.

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Jameshh1964
Senior Contributor

Re: Killing cover crops before planting

Annual ryegrass is raised for seed in a big way in the Willamette Vallley. It is grown on the worst of soils, normally very wet, heavy soils. I think it sprays out just fine on a hot day.
It's a nightmare in an organic system however, especially if it has established itself for a whole season or more.
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Pat in CMO
Senior Contributor

Re: Killing cover crops before planting

I have heard that seed selection has a lot to do with the problem. Most guys that seem to know what they are talking about do not reccomend planting vns seed. The reason is they say the seed is a mix of more than one variety. With more than one variety of seed one may be actively growing and easy to kill while the other hasn't broken dormancy, so it can't be killed yet.  patrick

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Re: Killing cover crops before planting

From Dan Towery, of Ag Conservation Solutions:

Annual ryegrass needs to be actively growing when burndown is applied - at least 3 days with high of 60 and low of 40 degrees.  Add citric acid or acidifier to get pH to 5 to 5.3 range. Don't add any herbicides to glyphosate that will cause antagonism, or use 28% as carrier.  Follow directions and  burndown is pretty easy.

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gil.gullickson
Veteran Contributor

Re: Killing cover crops before planting

Thx. I remember that farmer in IN with annual ryegrass talking about the need to get the pH adjusted, tbucktoo, and that range was what he was going, I think. Thx for including this.

Gil 

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Re: Killing cover crops before planting

gil, i planted/sowed a cover crop for the first time last fall following soybean harvest. My cover crop plan was approved by the nrcs for cost share. It was only on 1 small field. I seeded oats, after soybean harvest, with my dry p&k and hoped to get 4 inches of growth before a custom operator striptilled that field. this would not require a spring kill as oats is not winter hardy. Welllll, very little of that oats grew and winter comes early to north iowa, so i thought that was a complete waste. this spring after planting my corn alot of that fall seeded oats grew!!! I was not looking for that! I had to kill it last week to get it to not compete with my 2 leaf corn.

 

I really like the idea of cover crops, but their application in north iowa and minnesota has some constraints. It can, does, and stays cold many years begiining the first week of november. this really limits cover crop growth. Also, i  think seeding covers with an airplane is a terribly inefficient way to seed. Sure it works, but they have to fly back and fill all the time. Seeding  post harvest, and tillage will work, but it kinda defeats the goals of striptill/notill. I will try again this year, hopefully following an early soybean harvest.

 

I have seen rye seeded many times(for forage/hay) in early september folowing silage cutting with really good success. They musually cut the hay the first part of june and plant soybeans.

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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: Killing cover crops before planting

For us on the high plains it is one of those "looks good on paper" but ............... issues

 

In dryer years all benefit is gone because there is not enough moisture to raise a cover and a harvestable crop....

There is great risk in getting them to do what you want..... ie come up timely, die when you want them, they become like a noxious weed if killing is not timely and very effective effective.  And I mean 100% not 98%.....

 

In an arid climate what a waiste of moisture....

 

Rye grass contamination in wheat country is hard to get rid of.  And wheat with some in it is not marketable.  

 

One of those things that fits an area of the country and a climate condition, but gets promoted by "Great idea, pass it on" confrence speakers as an answer that fits everybody........Conferences are a bad place to find entertainment...

 

🙂

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gil.gullickson
Veteran Contributor

Re: Killing cover crops before planting

Idalivered,

 

Wow, thanks for relaying that information. Oats must have a pretty long germination life! I never gave that much though, that cover crop seed could come back in the spring like that and compete with the corn. Thanks for sharing that information. I'll keep that in mind as I continue to cover this subject. 

Gil 

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gil.gullickson
Veteran Contributor

Re: Killing cover crops before planting

sw363535,

Thanks for passing this on. I'd wondered how they would compete with the main crop during drought. There was a piece out of South Dakota State a couple weeks ago on this subject, but I didn't take a long look at it (and the drought is pretty much busted up there.) But thanks for passing this on, that's a big concern with cover crop/drought.

Thx,

Gil 

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