Wisconsin growers are increasingly interested in utilizing cover crops. While cover crop establishment is relatively easy following corn silage, small grains, and processing vegetables, establishing cover crops successfully following corn or soybean has been more difficult. Aerial seeding or over-the canopy seeding late in the growing season can be done with moderate success. An alternative approach is to interseed cover crops into a standing corn crop early in the growing season. This management practice requires special or at least modified equipment, but can improve cover crop establishment by drilling seed rather than broadcasting. Ideally, the cover crop will establish prior to canopy closure, but then survive to the end of the growing season without creating too much competition for resources (nutrients and water) for the corn crop. Little experimentation has occurred in Wisconsin to evaluate cover crop growth when interseeded into standing corn and the impact of interseeding cover crops on corn grain yield.
Soil Science Extension
University of Wisconsin Madison