Published by: Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, 2013


Here you will find recordings of the webinars presented in the 2013 Cover Crop Innovations Webinar Series, along with resources that you can use to learn more about each topic and that you can share with others.

Dr. Ray Weil and Natalie Lounsbury have been investigating the possibility of no-till planting early spring vegetables such as spinach and lettuce after a forage radish cover crop without the use of herbicides. They discuss soil moisture, temperature and nutrient status in early spring as well as seedling emergence and yield. Equipment limitations and new opportunities for small scale farmers are addressed.

Dr. Sjoerd Duiker presents how cover crops can be used to conserve nutrients over the winter, reduce erosion, and replace nitrogen fertilizer needs in the following crop. Dr. Greg Roth presents an update on the Penn State Cover Crop Interseeder, including results from field trials testing the establishment of different cover crop species when interseeded into standing corn crops.

Dr. Mary Barbercheck and Maggie Douglas have been studying the effects of cover crops on pests and their natural enemies in high-residue conservation tillage settings, both conventional and organic. In this webinar, learn the basics about key early season insect and slug pests that can pose problems in conservation tillage systems with high amounts of cover crop residues and how crop management practices can help reduce pest damage. Also, learn about ongoing research into naturally-occurring predators of early season insects and slugs and how best to conserve them.

Many organic grain producers seek weed management tactics that will allow them to reduce tillage in their cropping systems while maintaining weed control and efficient nutrient delivery. In this webinar, Hanna Poffenbarger of the University of Maryland and Steven Mirsky of the USDA-ARS Sustainable Agriculture Systems Lab discuss optimizing cover crop mixture composition and manure application to achieve weed suppression and adequate, efficient nitrogen delivery in a cover crop-based no-till corn system.

This presentation reviews how the characteristics of different cover crop types, including winter-hardy and winter-killed grasses and legumes, can be used to assemble a mixed-species cover crop planting that balances nitrogen retention over the winter with nitrogen supply to the next crop. Charlie White, of Penn State Extension, presents case studies of how mixtures of different cover crop types performed at supplying nitrogen to a following corn crop and reducing nitrate leaching into the subsoil. Tools to assess nitrogen supplied by cover crops to the next cash crop are also discussed.

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