Project Details:

Evaluating the impact of cover crop termination timing on insect pests and weed pressure in soybeans

Parent Project: This is the first year of this project.
Checkoff Organization:Nebraska Soybean Board
Categories:Crop management systems
Organization Project Code:1737
Project Year:2019
Lead Principal Investigator:Justin McMechan (University of Nebraska)
Co-Principal Investigators:

Contributing Organizations

Funding Institutions

Information and Results

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Project Summary

Cover crops can increase soil organic matter, soil tilth, water infiltration, nutrient capture, weed control and reduce soil erosion. This 3-year project would assess the timing of termination of wheat or rye cover crops relative to soybean planting on farmer fields across eastern and central Nebraska. Sites would consist of an existing rye or wheat cover crop terminated with glyphosate using a backpack sprayer at three different times during the spring prior to and after soybean planting. Soybean fields will be evaluated twice during the early vegetative stage and once during the reproductive stage for insects, plant damage, and yield will be recorded on plots. Weed suppression potential of cover crop will be evaluated at termination and just prior to soybean canopy closure.

Project Objectives

The objective of this research is to evaluate the impact of cover crop termination timing relative to soybean planting on insect pest potential and weed suppression.

Project Deliverables

Resulting data from this project would be presented at a number of Extension outreach events such as the Soybean Management Field Days (minimum 350 attendees), Nebraska Crop Management Conference (approx. 300 attendees), Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center Cover Crop Conference (approx. 300 attendees), as well as number of other county and research center based field days. Updates on research progress would be presented through Twitter, Market Journal interviews and CropWatch articles. Time-lapse videos will also be compiled and presented through a number of Extension venues. It is expected that at least two peer-reviewed publications will result from this work.

Progress of Work

Final Project Results

Updated November 18, 2019:

View uploaded report PDF file

Benefit to Soybean Farmers

The results from this project would provide farmers with an estimation of the risk and management potential for terminating a cover crop (wheat or rye) relative to soybean planting. Such information is critical for identifying newly emerging pests of cover crop systems as well as existing pest potential issues. In addition, farmers will have an understanding of how such practices might influence weed suppression from a cover crop depending on the termination date. Such practices may also inform NRCS guidelines for termination of cover crops and provide critical information for crop insurance and cover crop guidelines.

Performance Metrics

Project Years