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Best Cover Crop?

Old 06-26-2004, 05:07 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default Best Cover Crop?

What do think is the best cover crop for clover? Why?
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Old 06-26-2004, 11:18 PM
Typical Buck
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Default RE: Best Cover Crop?

i have no answer, but your question made me wonder if there is a good winter cover crop for a dove field. i plant sunflowers on it in late april.
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Old 06-27-2004, 09:39 AM
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Default RE: Best Cover Crop?

First, I assume you are planting a fall crop of clover.

My best suggestion is either a winter wheat or cold tolerant oat. Another suggestion is one of the brassicas (Don't expect much activity with the brassicas until later in the winter). In my area we get so little usage out of the brassicas that we avoid them at all costs. The grains however seem to attract early and keep some of the pressure off the young clover plants.

In the spring we mow the oats before they form seed heads and we have almost no volunteer competition the next year. Depending on rain and temps you'll get growth in the fall but by spring, the clover will mature and should come in lush. You'll have a relatively pure stand of clover after the grains die out.

Another pointer is to plant the grain light. Normally 25-35% of the recommended seeding rate. This will leave your clover plenty of root space. If not the faster growing grains can choke out most of the clover.

I look forward to some of the suggestions from around the country.

Keep an eye out in the spring for grass competition. If you get it, take care of it with Vantage herbicide it works.
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Old 06-27-2004, 02:19 PM
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Default RE: Best Cover Crop?

Actually I was talking about a spring planting. I have heard of using winter rye, wheat, or oats. Wasn't sure if one had a distinct advantage over the other. Good point about only using a portion of the recommended seeding rate per acre.

. . . Rob
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Old 06-27-2004, 09:59 PM
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Default RE: Best Cover Crop?

My best clover crop ever was spring planted with a dwarf essex rapeseed cover crop. The rape did little for the deer, but provided a nice canopy that helped keep the soil moist.

Plant it light though - a little goes a long ways.

Farmers in my area use Barley or oats for theSpring cover crop with clovers and/or alfalfa - it always seems to do well for them ( but they spray too - I never have for clover).
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Old 07-11-2004, 05:40 PM
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Default RE: Best Cover Crop?

I still like turnips and rape for winter..
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