Learn the Value of Cover Crops at the Ohio No-Till Conference

November 29, 2007

WOOSTER, Ohio -- Growers interested in cover crops can learn more about their value in crop production systems during the Ohio No-Till Conference on Dec. 4.

Robert Mullen, an Ohio State University Extension soil fertility specialist, will present research findings on the agronomic benefits of cover crops, including nitrogen contributions. The data is based on field work in growing Austrian winter pea and red clover following wheat harvest.

"There is growing interest in alternative fertilizer sources with the high fuel prices," said Mullen, with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. "The research was designed to evaluate cover crops to help understand how and where they fit into a crop rotation and the type of value they provide."

A year's worth of research conducted at two OARDC research stations found that cover crops may provide some agronomic value to a subsequent corn crop, although it is not necessarily the result of nitrogen release from the cover crop itself.

"Our research study revealed that the presence of a cover crop (red clover) did improve corn yields, but it did not alter nitrogen response," said Mullen "This implies a rotational benefit rather than a nitrogen contribution from the cover crop."

Mullen will share his research findings, along with Fairfield County no-till farmer David Brandt, during the daylong conference. The event will be held from 8 a.m. until 3:15 p.m. at the Der Dutchman Restaurant in Plain City, Ohio. Registration is $25 and includes refreshments, lunch and conference materials.

Other topics presented during the Ohio No-Till Conference include corn after corn rotation and tillage, soil quality improvements after two to 40 years of no-till, a farmer panel of no-till success with corn after corn, 45 years of no-till research success and the No-Till Awards. OSU Extension specialists, experienced no-till farmers, and industry experts will be on-hand to present the information.

The conference is sponsored by the Ohio No-Till Council in cooperation with Ohio State University Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service.

For more information on the Ohio No-Till Conference, contact Randall Reeder at (614) 292-6648 or reeder.1@osu.edu. Mail registration to Mark Wilson, Land Stewards, 31 East Pacemont Road, Columbus, OH 43202.

Author(s): 
Candace Pollock
Source(s): 
Robert Mullen