Project Details:

Cover Crop Management in a Wheat-Soybean System in NW Minnesota

Parent Project: This is the first year of this project.
Checkoff Organization:Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council
Categories:Crop management systems, Cover Crops
Organization Project Code:10-15-48-19-154-7527
Project Year:2019
Lead Principal Investigator:Melissa Geiszler (Minnesota Wheat OnFarm Research Network)
Co-Principal Investigators:

Contributing Organizations

Funding Institutions

Information and Results

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Project Summary

In NW Minnesota, the period between crops that is conducive to plant growth and development is limited. There are many cropping systems used in this region, but one of the most important rotations is wheat-soybean. However, there is limited research about managing cover crops in this region. Because of the short growing season, the easiest place to include a cover crop in NW Minnesota would be after wheat harvest in fields that will be planted to soybeans the following spring.

There are many questions about how to manage cover crops in a wheat-soybean rotation when planted following wheat and before soybean. What is the best type of cover crop to use - a winter annual like cereal rye or winter wheat, or one that will winterkill? When is the best time to terminate green cover crops in the spring to optimize soybean production? Which is the best method to terminate spring cover crops? Is there value to keeping volunteer spring wheat as a cover crop? The overall objective will be to determine best management practices to answer these questions including species selection, termination timing, and termination method. This will be accomplished through both small-plot research and by partnering with MN Wheat’s On-Farm Research Network to study cover crop management in field-scale on-farm trials.

Project Objectives

1. Identify the best species of cover crops and method of planting to be used after wheat harvest and before soybean planting wh Goal: Determine Best type of Cover to use.
a.) plant and evaluate winter annual cover in small plots
b.) plant and evaluate annual crop that dies in winter in small plots
c.) plant, evaluate and compare spring planted cover crop in small plots

2. Identify the optimum timing of rye termination prior to soybean planting in a wheat-cover crop-soybean, no-till system
Goal: Determine best time to terminate cover crop based on northern environment
a.) Terminate two weeks before planting
b.) Terminate at or shortly after planting
Partner with other groups to fund rotational research

Jointly fund project with MN Wheat Council

a.) Share costs associated with this Cover Crop Research in a Wheat-Soybean Rotation
b.) Partner with MN Wheat in the outreach and dissemination of research results to growers who grow both soybean and wheat

Project Deliverables

Progress of Work

Final Project Results

Updated June 4, 2020:

View uploaded report Word file

Benefit to Soybean Farmers

Performance Metrics

Project Years