Impacts of cover crop planting dates on soil properties after 4 years


Credit: K. Koehler-Cole

Cover crop impacts on soil properties depends on cover crop productivity. Planting cover crops early and in a diverse mix of species could be an option to boost biomass production and enhance benefits to soils. However, the impacts of early planting and species mixes on soil properties are not well understood.

In a recent article in Agronomy Journal, researchers investigated how broadcasting cover crops pre-harvest or drilling post-harvest affected biomass production and soil properties after four years. Cover crops were cereal rye, a mix of rye, legumes, and brassicas, and a no cover crop control. These were studied under no-till rainfed and irrigated continuous corn and corn-soybean rotations at three sites in the eastern Great Plains.

Cover crop biomass was low (


Adapted from Ruis, S.J., Blanco-Canqui, H., Elmore, R.W., Koehler?Cole, K., Ferguson, R.B., Francis, C.A. and Shapiro, C.A. (2020), Impacts of cover crop planting dates on soils after four years. Agron. J. Accepted Author Manuscript.

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