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Cover Crops Profitably Essay

1008 words - 5 pages

|Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition | | |
|
| |Although typically grown as a cash grain, winter wheat can provide most of the cover crop benefits of other cereal crops, as well as a grazing option prior to spring|
| |tiller elongation. It’s less likely than barley or rye to become a weed and is easier to kill. Wheat also is slower to mature than some cereals, so there is no rush |
| |to kill it early in ...view middle of the document...

N/A by December, a Maryland study showed (46). As an overwintering cover rather than a grain crop, wheat wouldn’t need fall or|
| |spring fertilizer. |
| |A 50 bushel wheat crop can take up 20 to 25 lb. P2O5 and 60 lb. K2O per acre by boot stage. About 80 percent of the K is recycled if the stems and leaves aren’t |
| |removed from the field at harvest. All the nutrients are recycled when wheat is managed as a cover crop, giving it a role in scavenging excess nitrogen. |
| |“Cash and Cover” crop. Winter wheat can be grown as a cash crop or a cover crop, although you should manage each differently. It provides a cash-grain option while |
| |also opening a spot for a winter annual legume in a corn>soybean or similar rotation. For example: |
| |[pic]In the Cotton Belt, wheat and crimson clover would be a good mix. |
| |[pic]In Hardiness Zone 6 and parts of Zone 7, plant hairy vetch after wheat harvest, giving the legume plenty of time to establish in fall. Vetch growth in spring |
| |may provide most of the N necessary for heavy feeders such as corn, or all of the N for sorghum, in areas northward to southern Illinois, where early spring warm-up |
| |allows time for development. |
| |[pic]In much of Zone 7, cowpeas would be a good choice after wheat harvest in early July or before planting winter wheat in fall. |
| |[pic]In the Corn Belt and northern U.S., undersow red clover or frostseed sweetclover into a wheat nurse crop if you want the option of a year of hay before going |
| |back to corn. With or without underseeding a legume or legume-grass mix, winter wheat provides great grazing and nutritional value and can extend the grazing season.|
| | |
| |[pic]In Colorado vegetable systems, wheat reduced wind erosion and scavenged N from 5 feet deep in the profile (111, 114). |
| |[pic]In parts of Zone 6 and warmer, you also have a dependable double-crop option. See Wheat Boosts Income and Soil Protection. |
| |Weed suppressor. As a fall-sown cereal, wheat competes well with most weeds once it is established (71). Its rapid spring growth also helps choke weeds, especially |
| |with an underseeded legume competing for light and surface nutrients. ...

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