This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Andy Bensend Andy Bensend 2 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #648
    Profile photo of Dave Olson
    Dave Olson
    Participant

    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.

  • #649
    Profile photo of Terry Quam
    Terry Quam
    Participant

    Have been doing it for 8 year’s think it works great if planted before September 15th

    Terry Quam

  • #699
    Profile photo of Matt Ruark
    Matt Ruark
    Participant

    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.

  • #701
    Profile photo of Dave Olson
    Dave Olson
    Participant

    Thanks for the input. Oats are inexpensive and very aggressive if planted early enough.

  • #716
    Profile photo of Warren Formo
    Warren Formo
    Participant

    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!

  • #717
    Profile photo of Tim Radatz
    Tim Radatz
    Keymaster

    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.

    View post on imgur.com

    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 Profile photo of Tim Radatz Tim Radatz.
  • #728
    Profile photo of Andy Bensend
    Andy Bensend
    Participant

    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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