While growing corn silage, it is important to plan for soil health management during the season. Cover cropping is one way to prevent soil erosion, maintain and/or improve soil nutrients, improve soil aggregation, prevent nutrient loss from runoff, and increase water retention. Such soil improvements can promote conditions that add resiliency to a crop, especially in light of extreme weather patterns that may affect yields. It can be challenging to grow cover crop into corn silage without having proper interseeding equipment, or correct timing, so that the cover crop will be able to survive. In this trial, our goals were to evaluate the effect of cover crop seeding dates within corn silage varieties of differing relative maturities and harvest dates. An additional goal was to evaluate a variety of cover crop mixes for biomass production and percent cover. The trial consisted of three corn varieties at 85, 96, and 110 relative maturity (RM) each, planted with nine cover crop mixes in order to assess management strategies for establishing a robust cover crop and maintaining corn yields.


Vermont, University of Vermont

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