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Successful Cereal Rye Cover Crop Termination In Soybean

Successful Cereal Rye Cover Crop Termination In Soybean

If you are a soybean grower, you probably know that weed management programs utilizing high-biomass cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) cover crop in Wisconsin soybean systems and beyond are increasing in popularity. Multiple benefits, such as reduced soil erosion, increased nutrient and water retention, and weed suppression have brought this system into the spotlight. Many growers have already implemented this strategy, with many more pondering it. Despite all the benefits a cereal rye cover crop provides, there are still a few management “wrinkles” to iron out. The one “wrinkle” we will discuss in this article is cereal rye cover crop termination in a planting green system into high cereal rye biomass. Much of this system’s success depends on both effectively terminating the cereal rye cover crop and mitigating the impacts this practice may have on soybean establishment and yield.

Here are the main takeaways we would like you to consider:

  • Terminations containing glyphosate provided the highest cereal rye control minimizing the impact on soybean yield in a planting green system into high cereal rye biomass. Glyphosate has been and still is the best herbicide for killing off a cereal rye cover crop.
  • The chemical/mechanical combination with glyphosate was the highest-yielding treatment in this study out of all the high biomass treatments outperforming glyphosate alone by 3.5 bushels per acre. The control treatment (termination with glyphosate >2 weeks ahead of soybean planting) had the overall highest yield in this study.
  • What about weed suppression? Check out these other relevant cover crop blog posts by fellow WiscWeeds graduate students Jose Nunes and Guilherme Chudzik:
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