Field of cover crops against a blue sky

(Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

Assessing cover crop termination timing

March 10, 2021

You’ve likely already heard about the benefits of cover crops. From enhancing soil structure to increasing soil organic matter and improving pest management through weed suppression to reducing erosion and leaching, cover crops can be a great fit for farmers looking to improve their soil health.

These are all important benefits, that’s why so much time is spent trying to figure out how to successfully manage cover crops.

One important management consideration is when to terminate the cover crop to achieve the maximum benefit without disrupting cash crop establishment and growth. The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) is exploring delayed cover crop termination as a way to increase biomass and the beneficial effects of cover crops.

Teresa Middleton, ISA northeast program manager discusses five cover crop trials from northeast, east-central and southwest Iowa to help you think about your cover crop goals and cover crop termination timing. 

Want to know the effect of cover crop termination timing on your cover crop, soybean or corn crops? Contact a field services program manager to learn about the opportunities for cover crop trials on your farm.