Barley is not just for making beer, it is also an excellent cover crop to put in your mix. Why are we hearing more about barley? I can’t always speak to why the industry sees momentum in one species or another from year to year or from region to region (I hope it’s mostly an agronomic decision), but I can tell you that barley is a small grain whose usage could see a slight uptick. Here’re a few reminders of the selling points of barley: • Barley is very drought tolerant and uses substantially lower amounts of water than [...]
Oftentimes growers limit themselves to planting only cereal rye after harvesting soybeans or corn. Rye is always a good selection because it will germinate and overwinter, you can plant it any time through the fall, and it will grow next spring. But it is time to think bigger and broader to expand your cover crop benefits. Winter peas are a great cover crop option, but they come with some challenges. Over the last couple of years, I have heard of issues regarding the establishment of winter peas. They can be difficult to grow in some soil types and field [...]
If you are adopting cover crops start with a plan that includes the right species, right planting date and right planting method. And don’t hesitate to do some experimenting on your own. Adopting cover crops for many growers is a challenge because they invest too little time and effort. For others the additional risk and management associated with cover crops may be too threatening to even get started. However, there are other growers who have successfully adopted cover crops and made them a part of their regular crop production system. Cover crops require management and deserve as much planning [...]
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and government relations efforts, while the membership program, Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) and the Illinois Soybean Growers PAC actively advocates for positive and impactful legislation for farmers at local, state and national levels. ISA upholds the interests of Illinois soybean farmers through promotion, advocacy, research and education with the vision of becoming a trusted partner of Illinois soybean farmers to ensure their profitability now and for future generations.