January 2019 - 25

MSUE VEGETABLE NOTES
building and protecting soils,
but sometimes interferes with
planting, and may tie up nitrogen
needed for optimal growth.
* Strip tillage and rye cover
cropping appear to be most
beneficial in hot, dry years. The
average yield effects described
above mask considerable year-toyear
variation due to differences
in temperature, moisture, pest
pressure and human error. In
general, we have seen the greatest
benefits of strip tillage and rye
cover cropping under drought
conditions due to their tendency
to cool soils and retain moisture.
For example, 2018 was a relatively
warm year, and we saw some
benefits of strip tillage and rye in
both sweet corn (Figure 2) and
squash. But in cool and wet years,
we sometimes see delayed crop
growth under strip tillage.
* Short-term success with strip
tillage depends on a good weed
management program. When
cover crop residues are left on
the soil surface, herbicides (e.g.
Dual Magnum) often do not work
as well due to adsorption by the
residue, which limits herbicide
efficacy. In addition, surface
residues can make mechanical
12.0
10.0
8.0
6.0
4.0
2.0
Sweet corn yield, 2018
Weed free
Weedy
years, soil organic matter in the
top 4 inches of our strip-till plus
rye cover crop treatments was
about 2.4 percent, compared
to 1.5 percent in our plowed
treatments. This may not seem like
much, but note that on sandy soils,
such small changes in organic
matter can have important effects
on water holding capacity and
nutrient availability.
The next 10 years. Although 10 years
Bare
Plow
Rye
Bare
Strip-till
Tillage & Cover Crop
Source: MSU Extension
cultivation difficult or impossible.
For example, in sweet corn
this past summer, yields were
particularly good in our strip-till
+ rye plots, but only when weeds
were controlled well (Figure 2). In
some cropping systems, control
is easy, due to the availability of
effective herbicides. However,
in others, including organic
production systems, it is critical
that a sound weed management
plan be developed before
attempting strip tillage.
* Strip tillage and rye cover
cropping increase soil organic
matter, but the process takes
time. In our trials, after seven
Rye
is a long time in the world of agricultural
research, it is a drop in the bucket of the
lifetime of our farms. We have certainly
learned some important lessons from
these trials, but we believe the story
is just beginning to get interesting.
And many questions remain. Will the
observed changes in organic matter
translate into improved yields or
resilience to weather extremes? Can we
improve on our system through more
aggressive use of cover crops? Have
our practices affected soil microbial
communities and nutrient cycling
sufficiently to save on fertilizers? To
help answer these questions, we will be
conducting more detailed assessments of
changes in soils through a newly formed
network of similar long-term trials
linked through the Soil Health Institute.
For details, feel free to drop us an email
at brainar9@msu.edu. VGN
Winterbor
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VGN | JANUARY 2019 | 25
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January 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of January 2019

January 2019 - 1
January 2019 - 2
January 2019 - 3
January 2019 - 4
January 2019 - 5
January 2019 - 6
January 2019 - 7
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January 2019 - 9
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January 2019 - 44
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https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/vgn-digital-seed-guide-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyers-guide-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/november-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/september-october-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/july-august
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/may-june-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/april-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/vgn-digital-seed-guide-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyers-guide-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/november-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/september-october-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/august-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/july-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/june-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/may-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/seedguide-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyersguide-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/november-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/october-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/september-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/may-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/seedguide-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyersguide-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2021
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https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/june-2020
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https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/april-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyersguide-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/november-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/october-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/september-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/august-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/july-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/june-2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/april-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyersguide-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2019
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