Interseeding at V5 6/8/18
In the latitudes north of the 40th parallel, inter-seeding covers into standing corn at the fifth collared leaf stage holds promise.
The Fulton SWCD is experimenting at five diverse soils locations to see if it might work here. In two locations we have or will sow plots of ladino, crimson, mediumred, yellow sweet clovers and hairy vetch.
In the others, we sowed annual ryegrass and crimson clover.
This “oldcrank” broadcasted the seed with my dad’s canvass bagged crank seeder.
I seeded one of the plots on June 1. I checked there today and found the clovers to be sprouting.
The intention is to get a crop started under the canopy ready to pop after the cash crop dries down and allows light back to the soil surface. We learned last year that early corn with an upright leaf configuration will allow more light onto the surface earlier than a later down cast variety.
Herbicides are the biggest limitation. Residuals are being used more frequently these days to control glyphosate resistant weeds. They’re usually active, depending on the rate, at the V5 leaf stage which precludes inter-seeding. We have a variety of areas sown so we’ll be able to relate what we’ve found.
If you are new at cover cropping, the Fulton SWCD will help you offset some risks. Contact Lois Mann 574-223-3220.