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2022 Midwest Vegetable Guide

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Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management 22 Midwest Veg Guide 2022 Examples of Integrating Cover Crops Cover crops help add organic matter, manage soilborne diseases, and avoid soil erosion. Below are examples of five, four-year cropping sequences that you can use with vegetable crops. Each cover crop rotation sequence is designed to take advantage of legumes for N-fixation, grass or buckwheat to suppress weeds, and brassica cover crops for bio-fumigation and reducing soil compaction. These rotations won't work on every farm. Growers should try likely rotations in manageable areas to develop the best strategy for their farms. Example 1 Year 0 Fall before Year 1: Plant oats and peas as cover crops Year 1 March: If field peas do not winter kill, terminate by mowing, tillage, or herbicide April-August: Onion production August-November: Crimson clover as a cover crop Year 2 March: If crimson clover does not winter kill, terminate by tillage or herbicide April-August: Potato production August-November: Sorghum-sudangrass as a cover crop Year 3 March-May: Leave winter-killed sorghum-sudangrass May-October: Sweet potato production October-June of Year 4: Cereal rye as a cover crop Year 4 April-May: Terminate cereal rye by tillage, herbicide, or roller-crimping June-September: Cucumber production September-November: Oats and field peas as a cover crop Year 5 Return to Year 1 Example 2 Year 0 Fall before Year 1: Cereal rye and hairy vetch as cover crops Year 1 March-June: Terminate cereal rye and hairy vetch, leave residue on surface June-October: Pumpkin production November-May of Year 2: Cereal rye as a cover crop Year 2 March-May: Terminate cereal rye as cover crop May-September: Tomato production September-November: Buckwheat as a cover crop Year 3 March: Leave winter-killed buckwheat April-August: Carrot production August-November: Crimson clover as a cover crop Year 4 March-May: If crimson clover does not winter kill, terminate by tillage or herbicide May-September: Sweet corn production September-November: Cereal rye and hairy vetch as cover crops Year 5 Return to Year 1 Example 3 Year 0 Fall before Year 1: Oilseed radish as cover crop Year 1 March: Leave winter-killed oilseed radish April-June: Lettuce production July-August: Buckwheat as cover crop August-November: Cauliflower production November-June of Year 2: Cereal rye as a cover crop Year 2 March-June: Terminate cereal rye cover crop June-October: Eggplant or pepper production October-May of Year 3: Triticale as cover crop Year 3 March-May: Terminate triticale May-September: Onion production September-November: Oats and field peas as cover crops Year 4 March-May: Leave winter-killed oats; terminate field peas if not winter-killed May-September: Cucumber production September-November: Oilseed radish as cover crop Year 5 Return to Year 1 Example 4 Year 0 Fall before Year 1: Cowpea as cover crop Year 1 March-May: Leave winter-killed cowpea May-August: Sweet corn production August-October: Buckwheat as cover crop October-August of Year 2: Garlic production Year 2 March-August: Leave garlic August-November: Sorghum-sudangrass as cover crop

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