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Cereal Grains and cover crops

northcedar

Active Member
Good plan. Looks like everyone is doing what they can to make something happen.

How long can cereal rye keep decent germ sitting in a cool, dry basement? Looks like the bags I have in the warehouse were bagged in '16 and '17. Assuming it's good to go, and I know I can do a paper towel test, but also thinking of spreading before tomorrow's rain chance.
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Good plan. Looks like everyone is doing what they can to make something happen.

How long can cereal rye keep decent germ sitting in a cool, dry basement? Looks like the bags I have in the warehouse were bagged in '16 and '17. Assuming it's good to go, and I know I can do a paper towel test, but also thinking of spreading before tomorrow's rain chance.
Probably be fine. U lost some over that time. How much I don’t know without germ test like u said. Spread thick. Keep eye on it and spread with fresh seed if it’s sparse.
 

deerhunter93

Well-Known Member
Over the last few weeks I have sprayed and mowed a 1/2 acre spot to turn into a plot. It is in a little bit lower area but I wouldn't call it a creek bottom and gets full sun. I had planned to burn here in the near future and seed rye/clover. It looks like one chance of rain early next week then nothing in the next 10 day (50/50 chance the weather people have that right anyway). Would you guys recommend I throw seed down and hope to get some rain early next week or wait until we have more or better chances of rain even if that means waiting until the middle or later part of September?
 

risto2351

Active Member
In doing rye, oats, peas, radishes and clover how important are the radishes? With my turnips/radishes close by I don't see any advantage having them. I also don't think they will get very big to actually make a difference? Thoughts?
 

Daver

PMA Member
In doing rye, oats, peas, radishes and clover how important are the radishes? With my turnips/radishes close by I don't see any advantage having them. I also don't think they will get very big to actually make a difference? Thoughts?

I have done it both ways, if you do include the radishes, you will get some decent productivity/attraction from them in my experience, but they aren't a deal breaker to me. One thing I always value about radishes is that they burrow into the soil enough that they leave "channels" for air/water to penetrate over the winter and help to aerate the soil. This helps prevent soil compaction IMO.

The deer will go for the tops readily even if you don't get giant bulbs by planting at this time.
 

risto2351

Active Member
I have done it both ways, if you do include the radishes, you will get some decent productivity/attraction from them in my experience, but they aren't a deal breaker to me. One thing I always value about radishes is that they burrow into the soil enough that they leave "channels" for air/water to penetrate over the winter and help to aerate the soil. This helps prevent soil compaction IMO.

The deer will go for the tops readily even if you don't get giant bulbs by planting at this time.

Thanks Daver,
I did a good plowing this year so soil compaction isn't an issue now but them eating the tops is an added bonus. Now we just need rain after I plant this weekend.
 

risto2351

Active Member
Well the rye, oats and peas are in and rain is plentiful. Only casualty is I didn’t check my bag early enough and Welters sent me someone else’s order. I didn’t get my clover and turnips. So scratch them and frost seed in spring or reorder and put down in a week or two?
 

Daver

PMA Member
Well the rye, oats and peas are in and rain is plentiful. Only casualty is I didn’t check my bag early enough and Welters sent me someone else’s order. I didn’t get my clover and turnips. So scratch them and frost seed in spring or reorder and put down in a week or two?

Two weeks from now would be too late to mess with turnips IMO. But...what do you want from your clover? Fall planted clover is ideal IMO for the next year. While frost seeding is fine, you would be well ahead next spring to seed the clover this fall. Sow the clover with some "nurse" rye yet this fall and you will still have some benefit from the rye this year and the clover will be perfect under the regrowing rye next spring.
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
My award winning beans!!!! I know- it’s a shame I’m not getting rich combining these!!! Pretty clean and weed free... drilled the Dbltree mix right over em & with forecasted rain coming- should go from failure to fantastic.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Here’s a few days post rain - same field as above pic. Clearly we expect to see oats bounce up first. Peas, rye, etc are germinated & lil tiny clovers in there too. About 2-3 more weeks and this should be filled in and a thick/lush buffet.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Sorry my vid is a bit of a sloppy mess. But- I tried to do a video that covered basics on the fly while I was getting this done….
 
I have been reading many pages of the doubletree mix starting from the beginning. Almost all of the info talks about tilling the clover under for green manure organic matter and the breakdown process is what releases the nitrogen. With no till methods do you still get all the benefits of organic matter (it is not mixed into soil) and nitrogen?
 

Tmayer13

PMA Member
I have been reading many pages of the doubletree mix starting from the beginning. Almost all of the info talks about tilling the clover under for green manure organic matter and the breakdown process is what releases the nitrogen. With no till methods do you still get all the benefits of organic matter (it is not mixed into soil) and nitrogen?

Yes the organic matter will still break down over time, just the same as corn stalks do in the AG world, by terminating the crop the following year. Any type of stem or stalk will decompose into the soil over time.

The nitrogen will mostly be coming from your clover (although the peas will also scavenge N but they are typically long gone as they act as candy to deer). If you kill your clover from the previous year via herbicides the N will be released through the root system and into the soil ..

I hope some of this makes sense...

So basically no till will have the same effects as conventional till(in this seed mix) without the moisture loss and also the improving of overall soil health

Sent from my moto g power using Tapatalk
 

Bassattackr

Active Member
Yes the organic matter will still break down over time, just the same as corn stalks do in the AG world, by terminating the crop the following year. Any type of stem or stalk will decompose into the soil over time.

The nitrogen will mostly be coming from your clover (although the peas will also scavenge N but they are typically long gone as they act as candy to deer). If you kill your clover from the previous year via herbicides the N will be released through the root system and into the soil ..

I hope some of this makes sense...

So basically no till will have the same effects as conventional till(in this seed mix) without the moisture loss and also the improving of overall soil health

A great question that brings up may points I've always pondered on as well.

I agree that in both (til vs no til) cases the crop / organic matter breaks down over time.. Why in the ag world, the first thing that comes through after corn harvest (if full tillage farm) is the ripper / chisel plow, to turn the corn "trash" under to help it break down into the soil more quickly. Or now, many modern farms now use crop devastators to effectively shred and smooth out the trash, so that it can be incorporated more quickly. Some still completely till after this, others just strip til and still others will completely no til - Hence the need for row cleaners on planters, etc..

Some of the nitrogen is in the clover roots, some of the plant itself. Some of the nitrogen is going to be lost to the atmosphere if the clover isn't tilled under?? I think even Dbltree eludes to this in some of his earlier posts.. But it either case, you still get the benefit of the organic matter. Which goes to the next point.. You do lose OM from tillage, typically from erosion, but if your fields are flat... what then? Many in the ag world stick to some form of tillage in flat bottom fields, maybe something there..

Knowing these things, my thoughts are you're likely to build more OM over time with no til (especially on hilly ground) but perhaps not getting the "full" nitrogen credits if not incorporating green manure.. ?? That about brings me to my knowledge limit on agronomics.. :rolleyes:

Now if you'll excuse me I'm heading to disc up about 2 acres for my fall plots before someone accuses me of being a soil hugger.. :p
 
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