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Cover Crop Variety Trial Results

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Are you thinking about putting in a cover crop this fall? While cover crops can provide many benefits, picking the right species and varieties for your system is critical to maximizing those benefits. Check out our 2020 cover crop variety trial results for a head-to-head comparison of 60 cover crop varieties at three TN locations.

Cover crops were planted in fall 2019 and evaluated for a number of important traits, including fall and winter canopy cover, biomass at termination (April and May), and estimated nitrogen release.

  • Top-performing cereal varieties, including Bates RS4 cereal rye, NF95319B cereal rye, NF 97325 cereal rye, NF99362 cereal rye, and Wintergrazer 70 cereal rye, excelled at providing fall canopy cover and spring biomass,
  • Top-performing legume varieties, including AU Merit hairy vetch, Survivor winter pea, Purple Bounty hairy vetch, Patagonia Inta hairy vetch, and WinterKing hairy vetch, excelled at providing winter canopy cover, spring biomass, and nitrogen release.
  • Top-performing brassica varieties, including Viva hybrid brassica, Digger radish, and Smart radish provided above average fall and winter canopy cover at the East and West TN locations.

More information can be found in the full publication or excel tables. A virtual tour of the plots was also presented at the virtual Milan no-till field day and is available here.

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Defoliating in volatile weather conditions (is this the end of October?)

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If you trust the forecast, volatile temperatures should increase over the weekend before again falling into the upper 40s by the middle of next week.  Thanks, 2020.  Unfortunately, we do not have great options after Sunday and fields in West Tennessee are wet.  This blog covers the mixes I’m running prior to Saturday afternoon, Sunday through mid-week and thoughts on whether or not that green, soft boll will mature before a freeze. Continue reading

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Defoliation thoughts heading into a cold front

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Defoliation became a little more complicated this week.  While we were lucky enough to miss the mid-week rain, the next few nights are going to be quite cold (upper 40s to low 50s) and it looks like it may be next weekend before lows reach the 60s again.  Changing conditions justify a change in rate and often a change in product.  In this blog, I highlight a few thoughts on building concoctions as we move through a pretty substantial shift in temperatures. Continue reading

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Good Time to Scout for Weeds

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Pigweed that has escaped dicamba + S-metolachlor + glyphosate on 4 to 6″ weeds followed 20 days later with dicamba + S-metolchlor + glyphosate: Montgomery County, TN. Sept 1, 2020

Some have been concerned about losing dicamba due to court or EPA rulings. Everyone should be more concerned about losing dicamba and 2,4-D to Charles Darwin’s theory. Weeds developing herbicide resistance has caused the loss of many more herbicides than anything a court or the EPA has ever done. It’s not even a close race.

This is particularly true for Palmer amaranth. The newest development is that Palmer amaranth has evolved dicamba resistance here in Tennessee. We are in the beginning stages of Palmer amaranth, yet again, becoming a major problem due to the loss of a herbicides’ utility on that weed. Continue reading

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