Developing BMP’s for integrating manure into cover crops
A nutrient management specialist is developing best management practices for integrating manure into cover crops.
Melissa Wilson with the University of Minnesota says traditionally, manure is applied in the fall after harvest.
“They would harvest the field, get the manure applied, and then get the cover crops on. But our idea was what if the cover crop was already growing, and potentially taking up nutrients when you applied the manure?”
Because the window to establish a cover crop in the fall can be tight, she tells Brownfield inter-seeding earlier in the season makes a lot of sense.
“We went in at the V4 growth stage, which is when the corn has a four-leaf collar that’s established.”
Wilson continues to evaluate manure application timing and the impact to soil health.
“We’ve all been having wetter falls and springs, so having the cover crop there to help retain some of those nutrients can be really beneficial.”
To learn more about Wilson’s research, visit the Minnesota Corn Growers website.