Steve Plate (pictured) and
Sherwin Plate of Rose Hill weren’t getting their ideal biomass growth of their cover crop when terminating before planting corn and soybeans. They started “planting green” eventually moving to “extended delayed termination” to maximize cover crop biomass in their soybean fields. This spring, they’ve already made a pass with 2,4-D to kill the broadleaves, then planted with a 15-inch row Kinze Split Row Planter, and now they're "ready to wait" to terminate up to three weeks after planting.
Consider soil moisture: Steve says that the rye can suck up the moisture needed for the soybeans to imbibe and germinate. “Watch the top 1.5 to 2 inches of the soil to make sure your soybeans have enough moisture,” he advises.
Look for trifoliate leaves: “Once the soybeans have emerged, and the trifoliate leaf pattern is visible, you can terminate the cover crop,” Steve goes on: “If the soybean is just in the cotyledon stage when the sprayer tires hit it, it won’t bounce back.” Spraying at an angle to the planter rows will also minimize damage to the soybeans.
Mind your crop insurance: Steve recommends that you keep in mind crop insurance guidelines when thinking about extended delayed termination. He typically asks a CCA and NRCS agent to sign off on the practice to show his crop insurance agent (see below for more details).