With a growing season like we are having in 2012, it is likely that residual nitrate concentrations will be high, especially if corn was harvested early as silage or if yields are well below expected levels. One benefit of planting cover crops after corn silage, small grain, or a processing vegetable crop, or after manure application is that cover crop can take up residual nitrate and reduce the risk of nitrate leaching…(click here to read more)
At the 2010 Agronomy/Soils Field Day at Arlington, WI, I conducted a field talk on the value of different cover crop species. Specifically, cereal rye, berseem clover and tillage radish. Cereal rye establishes quickly and provides ground cover, but does not function as a green manure (i.e. supplies nitrogen to the subsequent crop). Berseem clover takes longer to establish, but will provide a nitrogen credit if well established. The benefits of tillage radish are less known. The tillage radish performs a type of “bio-tillage” and may scavenge excess available nitrogen from the soils system. The field slides can be viewed here.