On-Farm Cover Crop Trials: Clover, Rye, and Radish


  • Matt Ruark
  • Kevin Shelly
  • Richard Proost
  • UW-Madison Soil Science
Project Media

Clover There has been much research using red clover as cover crop, frost-seeded in to winter wheat (Stute UWEX pub). Planting red clover into winter wheat provides a clear value for the subsequent corn crop in terms of greater yields and reduced need for nitrogen (N) fertilizer (Fig. 1.) The drawback to using red clover is that it will not die during winters in Wisconsin and thus needs to be chemically terminated in the late fall or early spring. There are two other clover species that will winter kill and can be planted after winter wheat: berseem clover and crimson clover. Neither of these species has been well-researched in Wisconsin. In late-summer of 2013, berseem and crimson clover was planted in replicated strips on a farmer field in Sheboygan County. Preliminary findings suggest that both clover species established well. In 2014, this field will be planted to corn and a N rate study will be conducted.