This video dives into the topic of termination timing and the importance of watching the long-range forecast in the spring and being flexible with your cover crop management. It provides a great illustration of how termination timing impacts crops in extreme weather conditions. Apart from termination dates, the field was managed the same in every aspect (e.g., planting rate, planting date, nutrient applications, etc.). The only difference was when the winter rye was terminated. Half of the field had the winter rye cover crop sprayed off about 14 days before planting, so the rye residue was about 10-18 inches at planting. Whereas the other half of the field was sprayed off 4-5 days before planting and the rye residue was about 24+ inches at planting. Barry and Brent discuss how important termination timing is when it comes to dealing with weather extremes. Because of the dry conditions after planting, the 10-day difference in rye termination has impacted the corn all summer. The portion of the field that was sprayed off earlier has consistently been 2-3 leaves ahead of the rest of the corn. As a result, we’re seeing a difference in corn maturity. The dry conditions have also impacted the biology responsible for breaking down cover crop residue.
Year Produced: 2023
Cropping Systems: Corn