Using the roller-crimper system with early planted emerged organic soybean

Hi, I’m Erin Silva, organic production
specialist at the University Wisconsin Madison. Weed management is one of the biggest challenges for organic farmers not only in the Upper Midwest but across
the US and worldwide. So to help create a tool to help organic farmers manage
weeds in their fields, we’ve been using the roller crimper. Typically with the
roller crimper production technique, we plant a fall seeded cereal grain, usually
cereal rye or winter triticale. We let that continue to grow through the winter
and into the spring, and then when it reaches the growing stage of anthesis we
crimp over the cereal grain and plant directly behind the crimped cereal grain
into the rolled mat, which usually occurs in the Upper Midwest and Wisconsin
around Memorial Day or the first week of June. But to allow farmers to get into
the fields a bit earlier to plant their soybeans, we’ve been experimenting with
another option. And that is planting the soybean into the standing cereal rye at boot stage, waiting another two weeks for that crop to reach anthesis, and then crimping
the cereal grain over the emerged soybean. So that’s what we’re out here doing
today. We’ve let the cereal rye reach anthesis, this variety is a variety of
aroostic, which has reached antheses right before Memorial Day. We’re here
on May 25th and we are crimping over the emerge soy beans. This year the stage
of anthesis has corresponded with the soybean growth stage of VC, at the
cotyledons stage. So you can see through this thick rolled mat of cereal rye, the
cereal rye was planted on September 15th at a rate of three bushels per acre
about 180 pounds per acre, we can see the emerged soybean. So this has been rolled
by the roller crimper filled with water, a 15-foot roller crimper, and despite the
fact that this has been ran over with a heavy roller we don’t see any damage to
the soybeans. The soybeans have emerged and the roller crimper has rolled right
over them without any bending or snapping of the soybeans at this stage.
So planting into a stand at boot stage versus waiting for anthesis has a couple of different advantages. The first is to get an
earlier planting date on the soybean. We’ve been able to plant about two to
three weeks earlier than waiting for anthesis. For the cereal rye that
allowed for a yield advantage at the end of the season; at harvest last year using
the system with two different varieties of soybeans, we saw about an eight bushel per acre advantage planting earlier into the ryet boot stage versus waiting until
anthesis. The second is that it actually can be easier to plant the soybeans and
get good to see disloyal contact. As the rye begins to approach anthesis, we see
a greater risk of lodging, and that lodging can make it difficult for
soybean planting if the crimping is done beforehand. It can be really hard for the
planter to be able to plant through that thick rye mulch. By planting earlier, less of the rye is lodged, and we’re able to get better seed
to soil contact and a better soybean stand. To learn more about this aspect of
roller crimping or other aspects of the roller crimper technique, you can visit
my website listed below the video.

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