Interseeding Cover Crops While Applying In-Season Nitrogen

Keith Hartmann

This project will build a 12-row, 30-inch row spacing, cover crop interseeder that can apply liquid nitrogen and seed a cover crop in one pass. This will expand upon ongoing farm research using a small scale prototype interseeder that was built using commonly sourced Yetter Manufacturing strip freshener units, incorporating the seeds and a Gandy seeder. The project focus is to show farmers how they can successfully establish a cover crop in a northern climate and efficiently do that with one pass across the field during an in-season nitrogen application.

Along with the seeding, corn yield will be determined by weight to check if the interseeded cover crop has an effect on the grain yield. The corn stalk nitrate test will be utilized to check if the cover crop is competing with the corn for nitrogen. Lastly, at the end of the growing season, soil nitrate samples will be taken to measure how much nitrate the cover crop has absorbed from the soil and will be held in residue until the following season.