Planting green into cover crops on clay soils in Niagara

If you are interested or considering planting green into cover crops, the video below outlines key challenges and successes that Larry Dyck, a Niagara farmer based in Campden, Ontario has experienced. Larry farms with his son Ben and shares some of his experiences planting green into a cover crop mixture on heavy clay soils. This video starts in May 2021 and follows the progression of the field from the termination of the cover crop mixture to the corn crop in mid-July 2021.

Larry’s main rotation is a corn, soybean, wheat rotation, and he no-till plants a mixed species cover crop after wheat into the stubble. This mix includes crimson clover, cereal rye, hairy vetch, turnips, and Austrian winter peas. Larry’s goal is to plant corn green into the cover crop mixture, and he uses a modified no-till planter to do it. Once the corn has reached the 4-6 leaf stage, he side dresses nitrogen and interseeds a 4-5 species cover crop mixture into the corn crop.

Alongside Larry’s expertise, Jake Munroe, a soil management specialist with OMAFRA, provides his observations over a series of visits. Jake highlights some of the challenges with terminating a multi-species cover crop mixture and emphasizes the importance of having minimal green when the corn crop emerges. Lastly, he shows the successful seed placement of the corn both into moisture at a consistent depth within the field.