Moisture and N tie-up: Cover crops like wheat or rye absorb a lot of moisture when growing in the spring. It is important that moisture is not being diverted away from cash crops at planting. “We look at the available moisture in the soil and the forecast, then make our plan to avoid losing moisture,” says Kyle. If conditions appear too dry ahead of planting Kyle will plan to terminate his wheat earlier. Another hurdle when planting green is avoiding nitrogen tie-up. Kyle applies 32% N to the seed row after planting, but before emergence, to mitigate N tie-up.
Skip-rows: Leaving a skip-row or gap-row in the cover crop is a management strategy when planting green to avoid too much competition between the green cover and emerging seedlings. “I believe you have to have some space within the cover crop for the seed row. Otherwise you’re going to have to terminate the cover a lot sooner to prevent competition,” cautions Kyle.