Terminating Cover Crops

Mar 27, 2023

We have officially made it to spring, and as I write this, we are one week away from April. Looking at the 10-day forecast it appears that we will not see the field until then. It is looking like a repeat of spring 2022 could be a possibility for us. With a fair amount of NH3 and dry fertilizer still to go, the month of April is going to be a busy one to get all of the spring work done.

The cooler wet weather hasn’t allowed much growth on our winter cover crops. A few days in the 60’s with the moisture we have now and they will start growing like crazy. This will be something we want to manage closely this spring. Last year, due to some weather delays, we had cereal rye and wheat grow more than we like to see during planting time. As it turns out this was very good for weed suppression, but also very good for raising some customers’ blood pressure by trying to plant through 5ft tall rye as well.

It seems like a happy medium of weed suppression, bio-mass production, and ease of planting are when we should terminate that cover crop. This is when it is around 1ft tall. At this stage both wheat and rye are easily controlled by glyphosate and there is no risk of it going to seed and ending up in our cash crop.

I have been contacting customers that have cover-crops in the field to get spring burndown plans in place for these acres. You want to make sure you have plans in place for when we do see drier weather. If you have any questions on managing your cover crops or would like to talk about a chemical plan for this spring, contact your local SFG agronomist. We would be happy to assist you!