Cover Crop Planting Day – Mostly

Curt Emanuel, Extension Educator, Purdue Extension – Boone County

On Tuesday, September 29 we planted three of the five cover crop “treatments” we’ll be incorporating into the project. Those treatments are:

  • Cereal Rye
  • Annual Ryegrass
  • Annual Ryegrass-Oats-Crimson Clover
  • Tillage (Oilseed) Radish-Oats
  • Late-planted (about November 1) Cereal Rye

Rain interrupted us before we could get the Radish-Oats mix planted and we’ll be planting some cereal rye later. Hopefully we’ll get the oats and radish in the ground by the end of this week. We performed no tillage and made no herbicide applications before planting. All of the cover crops are planted in 40′ strips and we did a replication (planted each treatment in two areas of the field). I’ll load a map in the near future.

This will make for an interesting educational opportunity. It’s pretty late to be planting radish so we may not get much top growth but it may surprise people when we dig pits next spring to see how much root growth went on underground. It really is amazing to see plots where very little vegetation came up where they have root systems two or three feet deep. It’s a nice example of how much good these cover crops may be doing even when we don’t see evidence of it from the surface.

Cover Crop Planting
Boone County SWCD Resource Conservationist Brian Daggy planting cover crops with a drill.

EDIT: Oats and radish were planted by Brian on October 1, 2015.