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Nitrogen Fixing plants & legumes….

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
As N is incredibly high priced - many are seeking alternatives.
The options of getting “free” N from plants should always be considered regardless of the commercial N prices. Legumes feed deer, improve soil life & create N with the aid of bacteria. Nitrogen is a huge % of the atmosphere so get it for “free” when you can. Doing cover crops & improving soil health has endless benefits! I’ll post a few links that have some good data, studies, facts & information…. Good start with these links below…
Some of the best nitrogen fixing legumes can include: white, crimson, balansa, red clover, vetch, etc. Nitrogen fixing alfalfa that’s bred to fix N is awesome. Lesser N creators like: Cowpeas, winter peas, etc etc. The right oxygen, bacteria, & optimal soil health clearly will foster plants creating more N. A lot more depth in these links….

Bit of critique or analysis of different legumes for N fixation…
How, why, to-do’s, etc to create N….
 
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Oct-Lull

Well-Known Member
Great thread to start. Going to take some sacrifices to get a good rotation going to build nitrogen. Especially to get to where corn is viable to the mix. I am on my first year with my crimper as well. Some good info out there on mixing N producers and banks like cereal rye in the same stand.
3badf05a617068e4f3c8d6efb0ab3f06.jpg


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IowaBowHunter1983

Super Moderator
Staff member
Great thread to start. Going to take some sacrifices to get a good rotation going to build nitrogen. Especially to get to where corn is viable to the mix. I am on my first year with my crimper as well. Some good info out there on mixing N producers and banks like cereal rye in the same stand.
3badf05a617068e4f3c8d6efb0ab3f06.jpg


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What crimper is that?


.... I have a pallet of Crimson clover ready to roll around May 1 for this year!
 

8bitnes

Member
Just one thought. As dry as it was a year ago, those around me that planted cover crops really suffered in the cash crop growing season due to depleted reserves in the moisture that the cover crops consumed. So in years with poor moisture, one may consider treading carefully with cover crops
 

deerdown

Active Member
Just one thought. As dry as it was a year ago, those around me that planted cover crops really suffered in the cash crop growing season due to depleted reserves in the moisture that the cover crops consumed. So in years with poor moisture, one may consider treading carefully with cover crops
Interesting perspective and one I hadn't thought of...they always promote cover crops as helping retain moisture thru the shade and lower soil temperatures was always my understanding.
 

Waukon1

Well-Known Member
Would a water filled roller work for this process or do you need the crimper aspect to make it work?
 

Oct-Lull

Well-Known Member
Would a water filled roller work for this process or do you need the crimper aspect to make it work?
In some cases it may, if the timing is right. Otherwise the fins are pretty important for crimping the stem in multiple places to terminate

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Bucksnbears

Well-Known Member
Say I would plant soybeans in late may. Small plot (1/4 acre).
Would they put in enough N byabout July 25th to till in and replant brassica
 

Oct-Lull

Well-Known Member
Say I would plant soybeans in late may. Small plot (1/4 acre).
Would they put in enough N byabout July 25th to till in and replant brassica
Simple answer is no. Soybeans don't produce the N many people think. Only about 50% of what's needed for the plant itzelf to produce more than an average yield. Also the availability of that nitrogen is also not immediate or not in whole. I'm not an expert but I believe it takes 6-8 weeks of growth to get the nitrogen benefits from a legume, then root decomp. I do my rotations planning for the following years crop.
From the U of M

Legumes can fix substantial amounts of N2 into usable N. An alfalfa crop, for example, has the potential to fix several hundred pounds of N per acre per year. Any legume crop that’s left after harvest, including roots and nodules, can supply N to the soil system when the plant material is decomposed.

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Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Just one thought. As dry as it was a year ago, those around me that planted cover crops really suffered in the cash crop growing season due to depleted reserves in the moisture that the cover crops consumed. So in years with poor moisture, one may consider treading carefully with cover crops
Had this conversation with my grandpa a few weeks ago. Agree it’s an issue. NW iowa…. It’s very dry. Rye is one of the higher moisture takers out there. It’s also a huge organic matter builder with giant root structures. Here’s the key……. Short term- yes, cover crops can take up some moisture & dry things out. BUT…. 2 things to consider:
1) how much is tillage drying your soil out if you partake in that? A lot!!!!
2) most important!!!!! Many reasons we are doing cover crops, ONE OF THEM…. Building organic matter. By building 1% organic matter, the data is staggering on how much more moisture the soil can absorb & hold. It’s HUGE!! U may dry out your soil a bit in short term BUT solve water issues for good on the long term! With high organic matter - you can come reasonably close to “drought-proofing” your ground. *then it’s another “can of worms” talking about all the other benefits: WORMS, good fungi & bacteria (vast benefits- including making nutrients available), life of the soil, etc.

Everything has +/- IMO- weighing it all out…. Cover crops of some type almost always make sense. Not always doable but we’ll worth it in the long run if we could.

In very simplistic terms- easier said than done…. If a guy fertilized with manure, built OM by 1% & used cover crops as often as possible & tillage as little as possible - it is a night & day difference on the long term results for the better.

1% increase in OM allows soil to hold 20,000 gallons/acre more. That’s a huge game changer!!! ….
 

Daver

PMA Member
...
2) most important!!!!! Many reasons we are doing cover crops, ONE OF THEM…. Building organic matter. By building 1% organic matter, the data is staggering on how much more moisture the soil can absorb & hold. It’s HUGE!! U may dry out your soil a bit in short term BUT solve water issues for good on the long term! With high organic matter - you can come reasonably close to “drought-proofing” your ground. *then it’s another “can of worms” talking about all the other benefits: WORMS, good fungi & bacteria (vast benefits- including making nutrients available), life of the soil, etc.

...
Bingo! ^^

I recently attended a seminar on soil health where a gentleman that represents Green Cover Seeds, Keith Berns, talked about this (moisture retention in healthy soil). He made a statement relative to this subject that stuck with me...when asked how much rain he received, he replies, "All of it". In modern agriculture, heavy tillage, there is a lot of moisture lost to run off v. healthy, high in OM soils holding so much more of the available rain.

Some key words to consider searching and looking into further...Keith Berns, Green Cover, Carbonomics,
 

Oct-Lull

Well-Known Member
Thanks.
I did not think it was feasible.
I would look towards plants like cow peas or Austrian peas. Or sunn hemp is growing in popularity. Going to produce alot more and have a better chance to have some availability sooner. Still get a good start going into the next year. Still need 6-8 weeks

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fergyr

New Member
Bingo! ^^

I recently attended a seminar on soil health where a gentleman that represents Green Cover Seeds, Keith Berns, talked about this (moisture retention in healthy soil). He made a statement relative to this subject that stuck with me...when asked how much rain he received, he replies, "All of it". In modern agriculture, heavy tillage, there is a lot of moisture lost to run off v. healthy, high in OM soils holding so much more of the available rain.

Some key words to consider searching and looking into further...Keith Berns, Green Cover, Carbonomics,


Here is a video of Keith's presentation that Dave is referring to, good stuff....diversity is the key, a diverse mix of plants is needed in order to gain the greatest benefit from the Release Process, a mono-culture of cereal rye for example isn't effective in gaining all of the benefits, certain plants in the mix to capture free N, others that provide soil tillage etc. Also, 1 year isn't long enough to see the benefits.


The Summer Release mix is planted once soil temps reach 60 degrees in the spring, then the Fall Release mix is planted, for us in the August time frame, using no-till methods is key as disking and tilling destroys the soil biology, aka kills the bacteria and earthworms, and tillage also creates a hard pan that prevents rain infiltration.

Green Covers Summer Release mix contains Radish, Rapeseed, Annual Clover, Buckwheat, Sunflower, Sorghum, Cowpeas, and 2 Forage Beans.

then...in late summer the Fall Release is drilled in, another diverse mix containing Radish, PTT, Rapeseed, Cereal Rye, Oats, Winter Wheat, Buckwheat, Peas, and 3 annual Clovers

These are inexpensive mixes from Green Cover.

Then in the spring the previously fall planted Fall Release is crimped and the process is restarted. This process provides free N and eliminates the need for lime, and the table is always set for our critters.

Neat stuff that could be useful for the future of Ag.
 
Does the crimper Mfg. you bought have a website? Could we see more pictures of your crimper? Is this setup design to add water for added weight?
 

cchadww

Member
These are inexpensive mixes from Green Cover.

Then in the spring the previously fall planted Fall Release is crimped and the process is restarted. This process provides free N and eliminates the need for lime, and the table is always set for our critters.

Neat stuff that could be useful for the future of Ag.

Got my screening and summer mix from Green Cover a couple weeks ago. Good guys. Great price.


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