November 6th, 2017 – Year three soil, plant, biological, and cash crop yield/quality testing was completed mid-October for all cover crop trials in Southwestern Colorado and Southeastern Utah.
- Soil tests report results on physical, chemical, and biological factors related to soil health.
- Plant tests include canopy cover, species composition, and ground cover data.
- Earthworm surveys are conducted at trial locations, as presence/absence of earthworms at are biological indicators of soil health.
- Cash crop yield (bu/acre) and quality (test weight, protein content, oil content) are analyzed to determine if cover crops make an impact on cash crops.
This years participants planted several cover crop mixes, in different in fields with different tillage/management types. Below is a list of some of the types of fields and mixes that were used.
- No-till Field, Spring 2017 – Spring Pea (62%), Spring Oat (16%), Hairy Vetch (14%), Safflower (4%), Flax (2%), Rapeseed (1%).
- No-till Field, Spring 2017 – Spring Pea (67%), Spring Barley (25%), Nitro Radish (7%), Crimson Clover (2%).
- Conventional Till, Organic Field, Spring 2017 – Spring Pea (44%), Crimson Clover (14%), Sunn Hemp (14%), Proso Millet (11%), Nitro Radish (6%), Impact Forage Collards (6%), Sunflower (6%).
- Mulch-till Field, Fall 2017 – Winer Pea (64%), Winter Triticale (15%), Hairy Vetch (10%), Corn (10%).
- No-till Field, Fall 2017 – Winter Pea (68%), Hairy Vetch (12%), Nitro Radish (10%), Winter Triticale (10%).
- No-till Field, Fall 2017 – Winter Pea (52%), Sunflower (24%), Hairy Vetch (14%), Sorghum-Sudangrass (10%).
Spring 2017 Cover Crop in No-till Field
Spring 2017 Cover Crop in Conventional Till, Organic field with cover transect.