Saving Costs with Cover Crops

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Cotton farmers in Alabama who use cover crops have a new, cost-cutting option. They can kill their cover crops and plant their string in a same pass by a field, according to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists.

A tractor rolls a rye cover stand and plants string seeds during a same time

Cover crops are gaining in recognition since they conceal weeds and assistance keep dampness and nutrients. Farmers typically plant cover crops in a tumble and kill them in a open by flattening them with a roller, spraying them with herbicides, or both. After murdering a cover crop, growers plant a money stand in a same field. That customarily requires dual passes of a tractor: one to kill a cover stand and another a few weeks after to plant a money crop.

Ted Kornecki, an ARS rural operative in Auburn, Alabama, wanted to see if string farmers could save on labor and fuel costs by creation only one tractor pass.

He and his colleagues planted rye as a cover crop, killed it, and afterwards planted string regulating dual strategies. In some plots, they killed a rye with a drum and afterwards done a second pass 3 weeks after to plant cotton. In other plots, they killed a rye and planted a string during a singular tractor pass. They compared a series of string plants produced, their vigor, and yields over 3 years. They also distributed a fuel and labor costs for any tractor pass.

They found that a plots where one tractor pass was done constructed aloft yields during a 3 years, producing an normal of about 2.5 percent some-more string per acre. Their formula also showed that for customary 600-acre string farm, a single-pass proceed would save some-more than $2,000 a year in fuel and labor costs.

The customary two-pass proceed might still make mercantile clarity since of potentially aloft yields and revenues, according to Kornecki, with a ARS National Soil Dynamics Laboratory in Auburn. However, a single-pass proceed is a viable choice that might turn even some-more fitting in a future, quite if string prices stay low and fuel and labor costs continue to rise.

Read some-more about this investigate in a May 2017 emanate of AgResearch.

Source: ARS

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