COVER CROPS, COVER CROPS, & MORE COVER CROPS
COVER CROPS SAVE SOIL AND PRODUCE FEED TOO
by Rico Balzano, Agronomy Outreach Professional
Winter small grains, such as winter rye, winter wheat, triticale and commonly used cover crops to provide soil cover through the winter months. But these winter grains are not just cover crops, they can be feed also. When planted mid-September, triticale can yield 2 tons/acre by mid-May (when cut at flag leaf or boot stage). Winter rye and winter wheat generally yields slightly less. After cutting in May or early June, there are many options. No-tilling in a warm season forage, such as sudex; no-tilling clover, alfalfa, grass mix; no-tilling a shorter season corn; or just plowing it up planting a shorter season corn or seeding down to a new forage mix. Grazing is also an option: Fall seeded cereal grains provides excellent early season pasture. When grazed before boot stage, small grains will regrow allowing for an additional forage harvest. Seeding rates should be at least
125lbs/ac., and can be as high as 175lbs/ac. Higher seeding rates will result in smaller stem size and allow quicker dry down.
For more information check out these links:
Managing Cereal Grains for Forage
(Dr. Heather Darby, UVM Extension)
Description and Seeding Rates for Forage Plants Grown in Vermont
(Dr. Sid Bosworth, UVM Extension)
Benefits of Early Planting of Cereal Rye After Corn Silage Harvest
(Dr. Daniel Hudson, UVM Extension
AERIAL SEEDING OF COVER CROPS - A 'PILOT' PROJECT
by Kirsten Workman, Agronomy Outreach Professional - Middlebury
and Jeff Sanders, Agronomy Outreach Professional - St. Albans
You may have seen (or heard) a helicopter in your neighborhood the last few weeks. No, it was not spraying for mosquitoes....it was seeding Winter Rye into fields of standing corn! The constant struggle of getting your cover crop on early, but harvesting your corn when it is fully mature is never easy (see Dan Hudson's article above). This new pilot project aims to address that struggle, and make it easier to get a good stand of cover crop in your fields regardless of when the corn is picked.
UVM Extension Staff helped coordinate this project, but the folks who really deserve credit are Cal Carr, Mansfield Heliflight, Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food & Markets (who provided cost share funding), Bordeau Brothers, Lawes Agriculture Service Inc., LD Oliver Seed Company Inc...and most importantly the very patient farmers who agreed to participate in this project. After a bumpy start, we figured out the many kinks and successfully seeded 100 lbs of rye per acre into standing corn on roughly 2000 acres in the Lake Champlain Basin. The first fields were seeded at the end of August and at the time of this article had germinated and seedlings were about 5 to 6 inches tall. The later seedings that happened in September were germinating within a couple of days.
As the name implies, this pilot project, is meant to give this method of cover crop establishment a try and see how it all works. Although it has been don
|Aerial Seeding Winter Rye into Corn|
e in Vermont before (roughly 17 years ago was the last time it was tried), there is plenty to still learn. After the project is completed and we see how the seedings fare after corn harvest and before planting next spring, you will hear more about this project.
For more information or if you have questions, please feel free to give us a call or send us an email:
Jeff Sanders (St. Albans) | firstname.lastname@example.org | (802) 524-6062 x453
Kirsten Workman (Middlebury) | email@example.com | (802) 388-4969 x347
NO-TILL SEED DRILLS HIT THE GROUND RUNNING!
by Jeffrey Carter, Extension Agronomy Specialist
The two Haybuster No-Till Grain Drills that we purchased with a grant from the Vermont ANR are being used every day. So far we have been traveling around to 45 farms during the past two months and planted over 1,400 acres in Addison, Rutland and Chittenden counties. Yes on clay soil, sandy soil, rocks and mud. You may have seen one of them go by on the road (yellow and red) at a whopping 20 miles per hour. We have had a great number of requests from farmers to use both of the 10' drills for the following ideas:
1) add clover and grass mix to pastures and hay fields.
2) interseed BMR sudex and BMR sudangrass into hay fields.
3) reseed clover and alfalfa fields that did not catch very well this spring.
4) plant tillage radishes to see how they really do on clay soil.
5) plant wheat rye and triticale into pasture for spring grazing.
6) Plant winter rye into corn stubble for winter cover crop and chopping for spring feed.
We had some great catches and also some that failed since it was so hot and dry in July. It is a little late now for any more clover, alfalfa and grass seedings. For the next month, planting rye for cover crops will be the main use for the no-till drills. Cover that soil for the winter to save on soil erosion and grab up any left-over Nitrogen (40 lb/ac) after chopping corn. Next spring we will get back to planting small seeds. One situation will be to follow a Rye, Wheat or Triticale winter cover crop that is chopped for feed in May with no-till clover, alfalfa or grass for a new hay field or pasture. The other idea is to no-till BMR sudex or sudangrass into the rye
|No-Till Drill in Action|
stubble for an annual haylage crop. This sets up a double-crop situation where the winter grain can be planted into the BMR stubble. I have been asked how will the drill do if we no-till soybeans next spring into corn residue after picking corn? How about if we no-till drill spring wheat into soybean stubble? I say, let's keep trying a whole lot of different things and figure out what works to reduce tillage plowing and save some fuel and time. We need farmers to try different things so we can see what works. We also have helped a whole lot of farmers enroll in the state Farm Agronomic Practices (FAP) program and they are getting incentive payments to use the no-till drill, plant cover crops and use the aerway machines for manure. If you didn't get to use a no-till drill or aerway, or you don't get FAP payments from the state program, give us a call.
Give us a call at (802) 388-4969 if you are interested in using one of the drills, and stay tuned for more in depth coverage of the drills and what we've been doing with them!!
CORN SILAGE HARVEST
Read this informative blog post by Daniel Hudson, UVM Extension Agronomist about things to remember before and during corn silage harvest HERE.
It is full of helpful information and resources on topics including:
- Start on Time
- Cutting Height
- Understanding "Shrink"
- Chopping Length and Kernal Processing
- Covering to Exclude Oxygen
See more postings by Daniel Hudson at his UVM Extension Agronomators Blog
FARM ECONOMICS & POLICY
FARM FINANCE and BUSINESS PLANNING OFFICE TIME
Meet one-on-one with UVM Extension Farm Business Specialist, Mark Cannella, to update financial records or business plans. ONe hour sessions can be adapted to meet the needs of individual businesses and managers. Use this time to prepare farm budgets, update financial statements or develop strategic management plans.
Dates at Middlebury Extension Office (9:00am, 10:30am, or 1:00pm):
- October 5th
- November 30th
- December 28th
Appointments must be scheduled in advance!
Contact Christi Sherlock to make your appointment now:
| (802) 223-2389UVM Extension will contact you in advance of your meeting date to recommend teh materials or records to bring with you to your meeting.
SUMMARY OF DAIRY SITUATION CONFERENCE CALL WITH BOB WELLINGTON
If you were unable to attend the September 6th conference call with Bob Wellington, Agrimark Senior Economist about the current dairy situation, economics and policy, you can view a summary of the call HERE
. These notes were taken by Bob Parsons, UVM Extension Ag Economist and shared with our newsletter by Alan Curler of Farm Viability.
Oct. 3 - Dairy Gross Margin Insurance Webinar
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm...Middlebury Extension Office (23 Pond Lane)
UVM Extension will host a Dairy Gross Margin webinar with Professor Brian Gould, the creator of the Understanding the Dairy Markets website that is used for Dairy Gross Margin insurance education at the Extension office in Middlebury. With the October 26 sales period rapidly approachin, interested producers are encouraged to attend the weibinar to learn the basics o the program, including how to protect your margin, how to calculate income over feed ocsts, contract requirements, and how payments are determined. A question & answer period will follow.
For more information, contact UVM Extension at (802) 349-2966