Early soybean planting into rye cover for organic no-till

Hello I’m Erin Silva, assistant
professor and a state extension specialist in organic agriculture at the
University Wisconsin-Madison. Here in Wisconsin we’ve been working on refining
the organic no-till soybean technique for the last seven years and we’ve had
great success using the roller crimper to do organic no-till soybeans. One of
the questions I get from farmers though, is there any way to push up the planting
date on organic no-till soybeans, rather than waiting till early June when rye
reaches maturity at anthesis, when it’s most effective to use the roller crimper
to terminate the rye. To answer the question if an earlier soybean planting
date would impact final yields in the organic no-till system, we set up a
series of experiments. Instead of waiting until anthesis, the stage of rye
maturity where the rye is flowering and we get effective termination of the
rye cover crop, we instead came in earlier when the Rye was just past the
boot stage and planted the soybean directly into the standing Rye using a
30-inch corn planter. After planting, we let the soybean emerge and came through to
about the first trifoliate stage and then rolled crimped about three weeks
after soybean planting, again waiting until the rye reached anthesis, where
we get effective termination and that rye stays down as a nice thick mat to
suppress weeds. To do a comparable experiment, we waited until the rye
reached anthesis and then planted like we typically would, rolling down the
rye first and then coming in behind with a 30 inch corn planter and planting
directly into that rolled mulch. Here beside me we see the results of that
experiment. On my right we see where we’ve planted earlier, coming in on May
15 and planting the soybean into the standing rye. On my left to compare,
we see that later planting date – waiting until we roller crimp and then planting
into that rolled crimp mulch instead. So between my left and my right we have
about a three-week difference in planting date of the soybean. Looking at
these two treatments on Sep 2, we see that both treatments
results in good weed management. We have some pretty weed-free fields behind me
here. And both treatments as well resulted in comparable soybean stands.
While the initial results of both approaches seem promising we have about another month and a half before we are able to harvest the soybean and see the
yields of the early versus later planting dates. To get that update and
future updates you can visit my website www.organic.wisc.edu The End.

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