Wade Dooley is the featured cover cropper for our late-October issue. Wade operates Glenwood Century Farm — an integrated crop-livestock and vegetable farm near Albion. The ‘king of late-seeding rye’ also custom drills cover crops. Last year, Wade found himself drilling rye into snow-covered fields while conducting a proof-of-concept demonstration on 100 acres. He seeded rye from early fall to as late as April to observe how rye reacts to different planting dates.
Worth it to seed late? This year’s late harvest is delaying the seeding of cover crops. Wade says not to fear — you can still reap the benefits of cover crops even when seeded late. But it's best to make a few adjustments in seeding rate.
Seeding rates should reflect the later date: Wade recommends that a farmer or landowner thinks about their goals for their cover crop when selecting a seeding rate. Rye planted in late fall will not tiller much, but increasing seeding rate will make up for the lack of tillering. Wade recommends the following.