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Soil Health Resource Guide

#seedcorn

By January 15, 2018January 29th, 2018No Comments

Seed Corn Production Fields

Lack of sunlight due to dense crop canopy is often a limiting factor in getting a cover crop to thrive prior to harvest. Seed corn fields are an exception to this rule and a growing number of producers are taking advantage of this extra sunlight by broadcasting cover crops at male row destruction or shortly thereafter. Using low seeding rates of brassicas, clovers, or annual ryegrass, acres can be efficiently covered using a male row destroyer spreader, ATV, or airplane. Studies have shown that cover crops are extremely effective at scavenging and cycling excess soil nitrogen in seed corn fields that may otherwise be lost to leaching. The growing and living roots of the cover crops can also greatly increase the carrying capacity and trafficability of the soil which helps limit damage if harvest takes place when the soil is wet. With the combination of sunlight, adequate moisture, and plenty of nitrogen, seed corn field covers grow extremely well and can provide 3-4 tons of highly nutritious forage for livestock.

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