- J. Sadler Richards, Conservation Management Systems - A Division of
Ecologistics Ltd., Lucan, Ontario
Evaluation Summary (Tech. Transfer Report Summaries)
Associated SWEEP/LSP Research
View Report (94 KB pdf)
Completed: July, 1991
cover crop, cereal, erosion control, conservation cropping, residue
During 1987-1989 four trials were conducted in Middlesex and Huron Counties,
in southwestern Ontario to study the effect of cereal crop species (rye,
barley, oats) and method of planting on the growth and yield of no-till
planted corn. The methods of planting included broadcasting the seed at
soybean leaf drop, broadcasting the seed at soybean harvest, tilling the
soil and drilling the seed into soybean residue and a control where no seed
was planted. Excess rainfall during the fall of 1987 and 1988 and drought
during late spring of 1988 affected the performance of the cover crops and
main (corn) crop. Results from two years of study indicate that winter rye,
spring barley and spring oats seeded at soybean leaf drop or at harvest
increased soil residue cover when compared to soybean stubble alone, through
winter and early spring. Barley and to a lesser degree, oats, seeded at
harvest followed by seeding at leaf drop achieved the best corn growth and
yield. Practical considerations related to labour needs, weather and the
timing of cover crop establishment for adequate fall growth do not favour
the planting of cereal cover crops at or after harvest.
(From Technology Transfer Report Summaries - A. Hayes, L. Cruickshank,
A two year study evaluated the performance of various cereal crops in
producing residue and their subsequent ability to decrease the potential
This study indicated that winter rye, spring barley and spring oats seeded
at soybean leaf drop or at harvest increased soil residue cover in the winter
or early spring when compared to soybean stubble alone. After planting,
the differences in soil surface residue levels were insignificant.
Barley, and to a lesser extent oats, "seeded at harvest" followed by
seeding at leaf drop resulted in optimum corn growth and yield when compared
to treated plots. In general, no significant yield increases were realized
when compared with the check.
The main objective of the study was to determine if any of these systems
could improve on the residue protection offered by untilled soybean stubble.
Simulated rainfall run-off plots indicated no significant improvement in
erosion control between any of the plots.
Advantages: Cereal cover crops may be of value when entering
a reduced tillage situation with little or no residue (ie. minimum tillage
in white bean stubble).
Drawbacks: Traditionally fall has a high demand on labour. This
system may further stress an overloaded system. Increased input cost with
no increase in either yield or erosion protection. Cover crops may complicate
weed control strategies.
SWEEP Report #12 - Choice and Management of
Cover Crop Species and Varieties for Use in Row Crop Dominant Rotations
SWEEP Report #36 - Red Clover Cover Crop Studies,
SWEEP Report #43 - The Use of Cover Crops for
LSP7005 - Crop Rotations and Cover
Crop Effects on Erosion Control, Tomato Yields and Soil Properties in Southwestern
LSP7009 - A Cover Cropping Strategy
for First Early Potato Production
Future Research: ( ) indicates reviewers suggestion for
priority, A - high, C - low.
Thursday, May 19, 2011 02:39:05 PM