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Using Your Tractor & Crop Talk

Discussion Board - Cover crops

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10-12-2012 14:56:28

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How many of you are putting in C.C. this year and I was wondering what you are putting in and what rates you are using? So far I have used cereal rye and hairy vetch and winter peas and rye, and rye and tillage radish, at a rate of 25lbs. per acre and 2lbs with the radish in small seed box.

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10-14-2012 07:44:26

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 Re: Cover crops in reply to Animal, 10-12-2012 14:56:28  
I find it interesting how some of the articles you read portray cover crops as a "new" thing. But it is more of a rediscovery of a lost art than anything else. I personally see it as a way to improve soil structure and as a consequence improve yields. It won't happen overnight but that is the issue for some people, they want instant results.

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10-13-2012 22:24:35

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 Re: Cover crops in reply to Animal, 10-12-2012 14:56:28  
Cover crops are difficult up here, nothing will grow any more, it's been down to 20 degrees. To dry for anything to sprout anyhow.

I plant some with the oats in early spring, the clover had a tough time this year with the dry, some alfalfa came through, and the turnips did ok. Was just too dry for all thiat.

Just finished paging through my last Successful Farmer - they hadan Iowa stuy in there, turns out a 3 year rotation of corn, beansm and oats with colver was the most profitable over the long haul, beat out the typical corn/soy rotation. While they grossed less, they profited more.

Huh, here my old dumb ways might be right after all..... The neighbors can go ahead and laugh... :)


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10-14-2012 07:53:30

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 Re: Cover crops in reply to paul, 10-13-2012 22:24:35  
Paul, what do you do with your oats? Do you harvest them, hay them or use them for a plow down?

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10-14-2012 09:02:52

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 Re: Cover crops in reply to Animal, 10-14-2012 07:53:30  
I swath and combine the oats.

Bale the straw off.

I feed the oats to my cattle. I often have a wagon or 2 extra, sell to the coop down the road. They have a feed mill, buy oats.

This year had 2 fellas call, wanting to buy oats from me. Was a bad hailstorm couple miles north of me in June, wiped out sa lot of crop, beat up their oats.

A 5 acre patch of the cover crop/ oat stubble I typically graze this time of year. Cows on turnips - now there is an aroma. :)


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10-14-2012 15:18:33

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 Re: Cover crops in reply to paul, 10-14-2012 09:02:52  
Here is a thought for you, I tried it this year with my winter wheat and worked well, I am going to do it again. I broadcast some tillage radish seed into my wheat early this spring and let it go to seed. When I combined my wheat that light seed blew out the back of the combine and now I have some real decent size radish, and not a bad stand.

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10-14-2012 19:51:33

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 Re: Cover crops in reply to Animal, 10-14-2012 15:18:33  
I did the same thing a few years ago, didn't know the radish would go to seed instead of root when planted early! Had the same in oats, got a lot of seeds in the grain sample - but no problem for feeding. And what blew over grew real nice like you say.

Turnips offer more feed for the cows, the raddish are neat too.


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10-15-2012 05:40:48

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 Re: Cover crops in reply to paul, 10-14-2012 19:51:33  
I was thinking when I replied that you really had it going on with the turnips.

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10-12-2012 22:35:22

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 Re: Cover crops in reply to Animal, 10-12-2012 14:56:28  
I planted some radishes 4lb./ac with my 5100 white planter and doubled back and in another patch radishes in 30" rows split with austrian winter peas in between. Planted Aug. 30th and really growing since it started raining here again late this summer.

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10-12-2012 19:13:24

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 Re: Cover crops in reply to Animal, 10-12-2012 14:56:28  
put some in in july this year after failing to get a few acres seeded... sowed 50ils oats. 50lbs peas (yellow - i had left over from last year) 3lbs each of red clover, hairy vetch, hybred turnips and tillage radish and maybe 5 or so lbs of sunflowers for good measure. Flea bettles took a toll on the radish and turnips, but it grew well untilk we had our first frost a month ago or so... clover seemed slow to come by comparison to everything else..

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10-12-2012 18:56:17

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 Re: Cover crops in reply to Animal, 10-12-2012 14:56:28  
Rye on bean and corn ground. 90# forage rye drilled in bean stubble and 120# broadcast and Aerwayed in. May seem like a lot of seed but I like it to be a sod and I grow my own seed. Clover will be frost seeded in the forage rye I leave to cut for seed. Would like to use more legume covers but the voles move in and create a disaster in no-till.

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