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No-till farmer fine-tunes when he kills which cover cropsNo-till farmer fine-tunes when he kills which cover crops

Roger Wenning lets crimson clover grow while killing off grass earlier.

Tom Bechman 1

May 20, 2016

1 Min Read

Roger Wenning, Greensburg, rolled the dice this spring. He had both crimson clover and grasses in his cover crop mix for 2016. He is one of the first people to try burning down the grass with a selective herbicide and allowing crimson clover to grow, perhaps for another week or two.

Here is our short interview with Wenning:

IPF: You have experimented with cover crops for several years. Why?

Wenning: I see a benefit to soil health. Cover crops do many things. They hold the soil. Some can also produce nitrogen for the crop.

IPF: You told us about a field with a three-way mix of annual ryegrass, crimson clover and rapeseed. Why did you include crimson clover?


Wenning: It was there to help produce nitrogen this spring. We had a good stand of all of our cover crops.

IPF: Why did you kill the annul ryegrass two weeks earlier than the crimson clover this spring?

Wenning: I didn’t want to chance it with going any longer with annual ryegrass. However, I also wanted to get the nitrogen-producing effects of crimson clover. For that to happen, the crimson clover needed to grow longer. Due to weather constraints, the cover probably got more than two weeks of extra growing time.

IPF: Does it bother you to plant with crimson clover getting rather tall?

Wenning: No, I have done similar things successfully.

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

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