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Considerations Prior to Cereal Rye Cover Crop Termination

Hi folks I am Rodrigo Werlr, weed
scientist at UW Madison. We’re out here today at Arlington Ag Research Station
standing in our cover crop plots. By me I have Dan Smith.Dan, why are farmers in
Wisconsin and beyond growing cover crops? So Wisconsin farmers are really
interested in using cover crops for soil conservation purposes. They’re interested
in planting a cover crop after silage corn, maybe after corn or soybean harvest, that’s going to hold the soil in place throughout winter. This is especially
important in the Driftless region where you have higher slopes and are more prone to erosion. Cover crops are also of interest to Wisconsin producers for an additional
forage crop. These producers are interested in either grazing the cover
crop off or they’re interested in using that as supplemental forage and they
mechanically harvest that crop. The most common question we get with the
mechanical harvest application stages is when do we terminate that cover crop. We always want to be terminating that cover crop after we harvest the forage. So we
want to go out and we want to chop our rye, go out and apply our herbicide after
we’ve harvested that rye, and then we could plan our preceding crash crop. One
of the most common questions I receive Dr. Werle, is I want to plant corn or
soybeans after my winter rye or after my overwintering cover crop – what do I need
to do to ensure success? That’s a great question Dan. So UW recommendation and also the recommendation from neighboring states
is typically to terminate that cover crop two weeks prior to your corn or
soybean planting. Okay so the question gets back to the farmer, what is your
purpose with that cover crop? If you want to achieve biomass, what you may have to do is delay that planting to let the cover crop grow. Terminate it. Umm, If you’re gonna be terminating with herbicides, glyphosate is the number one
option out there used by farmers. Spray it before the rye is headed out. That’s
the best way to guarantee a a good kill. Okay another option will be a roller crimper. Okay and the roller crimper becomes more effective after the rye heads out. Or terminate that cover crop chemically.
Terminating at least 2 weeks prior to planting. And the other consideration, if
you’re struggling with herbicide resistant weeds, cover crops help with
weed suppression. But you also have to integrate an effective pre-emergence
herbicide program. Okay and we’re gonna have another video
coming on that later, so stay tuned, watch your cover crops, terminate them timely,
and good luck during your growing season. Be safe out there!

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