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cover crop cost


Tyler52
(@tyler52)
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What are you guys paying per acre or per pound for cover crops?

I have never seriously done cover crops before. I just got a quote for a mix of Cereal Rye, Crimson Clover and Hairy Vetch for $1.13/ Lb. They want me to drill 30 Lb/ acre so that is about $33.90/ acre. 

Does that seem out of line? Its hard to not think of it as adding another $34/ acre plus time, fuel, wear and tear to next years corn cost. 

Plain Cereal Rye is $0.32/ Lb and they want me to drill 50 Lb/ acre, so it costs $16.00/ acre

I like that number better, but is the mix worth the money?

 


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maplegrovefarms
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 go here. great site. http://mccc.msu.edu

give Albert lea seed house a call for pricing as well.  and ask them a lot of questions.

clover and hairy vetch are a fantastic cover crops.  but seeded in the fall in late beans or after beans you might not see enough growth for them to survive winter.   

clover is a hard seed.  what doesnt germinate now will someday later. lol  to me its not a weed, but some people get pretty anal about that stuff.

is this going after beans or right now after small grains? if drilled after small grains i would try a couple acres of it.  then you know how fast things grow,if they survive winter, how easy to kill in the spring, and did you get a yield bump or save a few dollars on N in the corn.

 

the goal would be that some of that 34 dollars is to reduce purchased N credits. the other part of that 34 dollars you will see in several years down the road with the soil health benefits.  better water infiltration, less compaction, less water loss from evaporation, more soil life means potential lower fertility inputs....

be careful with rye and no till corn. Mr bill has had good luck with it but the guys in ND had a tough time with it.  

start small.  

 


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Tyler52
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My goal was to get a cover on directly behind the combine. I dont have the means to inter-seed a cover crop currently. I was thinking the cereal rye because that has the best chance of growing so late in the season. I was thinking of burning down the rye and strip-tilling. I am hoping there wont be too much of a root mass that it will be sod like. If there is i will cut back the seeding rate next year. I know what you mean about start small, but at the same time we have had more winter rain than snow the last two years and i have had a ton of washouts. part of me want to just cover all of my bean stubble so i stop losing dirt. Take a look at this satellite view from last year. 

bean tracks

The ground was a little damp when I took off beans, the combine wasn't cutting in, but you could see tracks where we went up and down the field. Every round the went back and forth washed out over the winter with all the rain we got right down the wheel tracks. these go the whole length of the field. This is a flat field that I have never had water problems in the past. The washouts were only 2" deep, but I want to prevent this from happening again. 


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maplegrovefarms
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winter rye you could broadcast in beans when leaves are turning yellow and starting to drop.  

be careful if your following rye with corn.  there is a chance that you can get some N tie up.


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Tyler52
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would the cost of running down beans out weight the benefits? The smallest tire I have on a wide front end tractor is a 16.9-38. The beans are in 7.5" rows currently, i would be taking out 4 rows of beans per trip. Assuming the stand is 190K i would be running over 10.8 plants per foot. with my yields that is about .00312 bushels lost per foot. Assuming I can throw rye 40' it would be 1089' to an acre. so on a per acre basis, i would lose 3.397 Bushels. 

I do have a cone spreader, not sure how far it would throw rye for sure though. The seed companies i have talked to werent wild bout broadcasting seed on without some form of incorporation. so if i just spread it on, i would probably have to use a higher rate?


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Oklahoma.Applicator
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A irrigated rye/corn rotation is successful here in Oklahoma. They are able to get the corn off early enough to be able to go in, and drill in the rye in September. Then come late October/early November they turn out the stocker calves, and graze rye pasture until March/April. Then they pull off cattle, burndown rye, and no till in the corn to restart the cycle. The rye is a good cover crop here because they graze it plus it helps with wind eroision in our sand hills, and its good weed control due to its biomass, and being allelopathic. 

 


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maplegrovefarms
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Tyler if your on drilled beans then yea you would be wise to wait.  I could not run down that much nice soybeans to spread some crop unless there was a flag every so often with a hundred dollar bill hanging on it.

in OK. you dont have winter kill or snow to bury the grass?   kind of a cool rotation!  are they no tilling corn into the rye?  does that work good?   

 

talking here with a couple neighbors we are going to try to bring in green manure crop mixes behind small grains and a couple of us are thinking of replacing some soybean acres with small grains and or hay to break the cycle of corn and beans.  especially now with waterhemp coming in.


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Oklahoma.Applicator
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MapleGrove. Here in Oklahoma we do get cold enough to put the Rye into dormancy but we are able to plant it early enough that we get plenty of growth before it goes dormant. They try and get it in early to mid September and depending on the year we usually have growth until late November before we hit dormancy. And yes come spring they run across it with the herbicide and then no till the corn into the Rye. Here in Northwest Oklahoma on August 20th they are chopping corn silage so on the ground that they chop they will easily be putting in Rye the first week of September. That's pretty much just on the small amount of irrigated Acres that we have around here, other than that we don't plant much corn. 

This post was modified 3 years ago by Oklahoma.Applicator

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Tyler52
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maybe I will try some straight oats, some straight rye and a couple mixes. well see what works better come spring. 


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maplegrovefarms
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some guys have a hard time with hairy vetch not being able to kill it.  so far I havent had much luck getting a good stand. lol

 

each plant in a cover crop system has a benefit.  guys have had great luck following rye with beans in areas with heavy noxious weed pressure.  they still use there regular 2 pass herbicide program but with the rye they are having a lot less weed pressure.

I just did a mix of 45 lbs of winter rye, 10 lbs vetch and 5 lbs radish for $0.88 per lb.  not cheap but you have seen my soil.  we need a big green manure crop to do anything.


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