How to get cover crops established in corn and soybeans in the northern Cornbelt is going to be focus on a new research/demonstration project involving North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa groups.
North Dakota State University recently announced it received a $2.15 million grant from USDA, with the promise of another $1.6 million ot come, to fund the project.
Researchers plan to interseed four cover crops -- rye, forage radish, camelina and a legume -- into standing corn and soybeans at different growth stages in trial plots in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. They plan to modify or design seeding equipment and try several different methods to establish the cover crops.
“We hypothesize that new or modified seeding equipment will enable growers to successfully establish second crops (cover crops) in standing corn or soybean,” says Marisol Berti, the project’s lead investigator and a professor in NDSU’s Plant Sciences Department.
The project will be a collaborative effort of 13 researchers. Eight are from NDSU. The remainder are from the University of Minnesota, Iowa State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service laboratory in Morris, Minn.
Extension Services in the three states will use the data the scientists collect to conduct educational activities for producers such as research farm demonstrations, field days and regional and county-based workshops, as well as develop educational materials and web-based information (including video clips), and hold one-on-one consultations with producers.
Berti says the $2.15 million is for the first two years of the project, and the USDA will provide another $1.6 million in 2018.
NDSU Extension Service provided information for this article.