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Farmer, agronomist notice unexpected cover crop growth

A Wisconsin crop consultant says farmers noticed something unexpected in a cornfield with interseeded cover crops.

Matt Oehmichen with Short Lane Ag Supply in Colby, Wisconsin tells Brownfield the silage corn was planted in 60-inch rows with interseeded cover crops that could be grazed after the silage harvest in 2020.  He says in this case, there was better cover crop growth where the corn rows went north and south. “So then this year, we all paid particularly close attention and wouldn’t you know it, with the season that we had, you see a little bit more growth in that north and south.”

Oehmichen says there are no scientific studies to explain this, but he believes the interseeding was applied after V4, and the corn never stopped growing, limiting the cover crop growth. “Interseeding had a very, very tight window this year, and that’s where the interseeding took off and established the best because it had a little bit better sunlight penetration.”

Oehmichen says when interseeding is done earlier, it establishes much better regardless of which way the cornrows go. “When it was interseeded at V2, that stuff was green and thick, just as anywhere else that you would see.”

Oehmichen says it is best to target the species and the timing for planting cover crops and to get those cover crops in by the V2 stage. 

Oehmichen spoke to Brownfield during the recent Professional Dairy Producers water tour.

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