Cover crops are an important tool in preserving and increasing soil productivity, stewarding water resources, suppressing weeds and retaining nutrients. However, planting cover crops coincides with the busy harvest season. Also, research to influence best practices for successful cover crops has been limited across the vast Illinois growing environments.
This project will implement two different trials to inform how cover crops can best fit within a soybean/corn rotation:
Cereal rye after corn harvest before no-till soybean
Different clover species after soybean harvest before no-till corn
The trials will assess optimal planting windows, seeding rates, and termination timing to maximize overwintering; biomass production; and rotational crop stand, growth and yield.
Results of this trial are designed to give farmers more cover crop options in their management toolbox. They will be equipped with better guidance on planting dates and optimum cover crop species for their soybean-corn rotations.
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.