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Cover Crops after Corn Silage, Fall Cover Crop Growth

Hello I’m Brian Brisky. I work for the
Natural Resources Conservation Service, an area resource conservation out of
Altoona Wisconsin. Here today, we’re going to talk a little bit about cover crops
in a dairy system, and more specifically what can we do after corn silage. One of
the first things when I work with producers I ask them what do they want
out of this cover crop, what we call objectives. There’s different objectives.
We can use this cover crop to help reduce erosion via wind erosion or water
erosion, another thing we can use this cover crop for is nutrient scavenging,
another thing we can use a cover crop for is potentially building some organic
matter, soil builder, helping reduce compaction another big spot in this
system. Or another part of the system is weed suppression. A lot of people said
okay if we look out here you know, I got a little bit of green, but when I
think about really building soil, making things better, I want something this big.
Well what we’re going to do here is we’re going to kind of show you what
we’re seeing at this stage, in stage of the game. We measured it earlier, we’re down about 5 inches. Typically we see about 4 to 6 inches. You can kind of almost see
where these roots are starting to make this soil break apart, they’re doing
their job, making this a little more granular. This is gonna put some of that
tilt into our soil in the spring we’re gonna look over here on our sample where
we don’t have a cover crop growing it’s kind of interesting we’ve had a lot of
rain here we can almost see the difference where we’re kind of got a
little bit of a crust here so we kind of got some magic happening here so this
will be nice to see this in the spring again and let’s just go back and
understand what we’re doing here with our soil health principles where we’re
reducing some tillage by putting this cover crop in where we’re going to get
some cover out here we have some cover now but we’re definitely going to have a
lot more cover we’re gonna see in April that’s going to help armor this soil for
this rise is going to be alive it’s going to be growing just over winter
so again we’re looking at that principle and as far as diversity we have a
rotation here that was basically continuous corn silage maybe coming back
with a direct seed alfalfa where we’re dealing with two functional groups by
adding in this cool season grass we’re adding in another food group for that
soil food web to chow on so we’re really accomplishing a lot here we have a good
start when you look at expectations this is what we want to see you

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