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Arial Seeding of Cover Crops

 
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Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1645
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 16 5:31 pm    Post subject: Arial Seeding of Cover Crops  Reply with quote    

Interesting concept: http://www.nj.com/hunterdon/index.ssf/2016/08/airplanes_to_seed_central_jersey_farm_fields_this.html#incart_river_index

Especially as it is done over existing, growing, soybean and corn (maize) crops. Field corn, not sweet corn I expect.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32654
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 16 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

with a big area to sow it does make sense to fly rather than drive.

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 4503
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 16 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The biggest concern leading to flying is frequently a desire to not lodge the standing corn silage crops. At least up here in dairy country.

I assume it's a similar crop being trialed in New Jersey.

Hopefully the NRCS down there has been in communication with NRCS and extension up here as they've had some painful learning experiences with aerial seeding (by helicopter)

Maybe our folks need to be in better communication with the NJ folks, as fixed wing seems like it would be cheaper.

I think we use helicopters up here because of the rolling hills necessitating a bit more aerial agility

NorthernMonkeyGirl



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4216
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 16 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Drones would be the obvious next step?

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8496

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 16 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The article was a bit short of information, but assume that the crops are ploughed in before sowing the next crop. Seems like a good idea if there is a huge area to cover. Round here they sometime sow directly into stubble, so the ground remains covered the whole time. Other places they plough the stubble in, but no idea why some ploughed and some not. It is probably to do with equipment available, type of soil and farmers preference.

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 4503
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 16 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mistress Rose wrote:
The article was a bit short of information, but assume that the crops are ploughed in before sowing the next crop. Seems like a good idea if there is a huge area to cover. Round here they sometime sow directly into stubble, so the ground remains covered the whole time. Other places they plough the stubble in, but no idea why some ploughed and some not. It is probably to do with equipment available, type of soil and farmers preference.


Which crop are you assuming is plowed in? The idea of aerial seeding is usually used in my neck of the woods to get a winter cover crop on while the corn silage crop is still standing, as there's not enough time to get a good cover crop established after harvest. The cover crop is either terminated with herbicide (or a roller-crimper if allowed to get to anthesis) in the spring for those using no-till systems, or plowed under for those using conventional tillage.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8496

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 16 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

As one of the crops quoted was clover, I assumed they were all nitrogen fixing in some way so that they would be ploughed in for nutrients.

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 4503
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 16 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Well either way you terminate the cover crops you release the nutrients that were tied up. Frequently what you're recovering is in the root section, so the no till folks might see a greater release, though slower acting.

Legumes typically chosen to fix new nitrogen, grasses to scavenge pre-existing nitrogen (and potassium) and to stabilize soil and build organic matter. Deep-rooted radishes (like daikon "tillage radish") are often included to create soil macro-pores and to deliver a good dose of carbon to the worms that will help decompose them (building soil organic matter).

The shotgun approach of "cover crop cocktails" is pretty popular right now

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8496

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 16 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I didn't know about the radish, thanks Slim. Cover crops do have the advantage of stabalising the soil, which could be why they are generally popular. Think that is why they are just slitting some fields here with the stubble left on so the soil is never exposed.

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 4503
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 16 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mistress Rose wrote:
...they are just slitting some fields here with the stubble left on so the soil is never exposed.


Just to make sure we're speaking the same english... I believe that you're describing no-till agriculture here, where specialized planters seed directly into a prior crop's residue without any plowing?

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8496

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 16 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yes, that is what I mean. Some places here plough and others do the no-till.

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