October 26, 2016 at 1:50 am #648
What do you think about using oats as a cover crop in the fall even though they will freeze out? Is it something that will add value to the soil? I would imagine that it would if planted early enough.
October 28, 2016 at 2:56 am #649
Have been doing it for 8 year’s think it works great if planted before September 15th
December 17, 2016 at 10:08 pm #699
If your goal is to prevent erosion, I like the use of winter killed covers to mitigate some management issues in the spring. With winter rye, there can be some drag on yield if not killed early enough. While most of the time this isn’t an issue, it is possible. The trade off between winter rye and oats (or spring barley) is that you don’t have the soil coverage in the spring. If that is the time when you are seeing big erosion issues, then they may not be beneficial for you. What I’ve seen is that there isn’t enough dead biomass to provide much coverage in the spring. But if you can plant them earlier in September like Terry, then its possible there would enough biomass in the fall to create a mat of dead biomass in the spring. I have not detected any issue with N tie up with oats or spring barley for the next years corn crop.
December 20, 2016 at 1:17 am #701
Thanks for the input. Oats are inexpensive and very aggressive if planted early enough.
January 16, 2017 at 8:16 pm #716
Multi-crop mixes are all the rage, but oats are among the easiest of possible cover crops for those looking to ease into it. Sort of a gateway cover crop!
January 16, 2017 at 9:21 pm #717
A gateway cover crop…everyone is doing them!!!
I agree with Matt’s points in order to get the erosion control benefit you really need to have the soil protection in April, May, and June. Over 80% of the soil loss at Discovery Farms monitoring stations occurs during these months.
The challenge is getting that soil protection when transitioning from the cover to the actual crop.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Tim Radatz.
January 19, 2017 at 8:50 pm #728
Oats are a good and easy crop…..Barley has a lower lignin content than oats and the straw breaks down easier in the spring……We are going to begin using a barley/cereal rye mix after corn silage and maybe even early harvested soybeans. Barley resists the seed damage from slugs and will winter kill…the remaining rye will be there in the spring but not as thick and should be easy to manage.
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