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Efficient use of cover crops reduces pests and pesticides

In Corn and Soybean Digest

When transitioning to cover crops, go for encouraging diversity while adopting practices that protect beneficials, but do it with a plan in place, says entomologist Jonathan Lundgren.

  • Monitor cover crops and production crops alike for pests and beneficials.
  • Don’t overreact. Seeing a pest in the field doesn’t mean you have to kill it! In fact that may be a bad business decision.
  • Don’t ignore pests found either. Evaluate for economic thresholds, treat with pest specific products if possible and time application for maximum effectiveness in the pest cycle.
  • Consider interseeding cover crops with production crops, adds Lundgren, offering the pest an alternative food crop and boosting beneficials.
  • Understand pest cycles. Delayed planting may allow overwintering pests to complete their life cycle before emerging plants are at risk.

Cover crops are great for soil health, nutrient sequestration and moisture management. They can also be great havens for insects, as growers who’ve recently adopted cover crops can attest. Continue reading

Interseeding, Precision Planting and Management of Cover Crops in a Corn and Soybean Rotation

What will you learn?

At the conclusion of this webinar participants will be able to develop a prescription for interseeding cover crops, understand the potential benefits of the practice, and describe situations where it will have the most potential for success. Learn more…

Presenter(s):

  • Greg Roth, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Plant Science, Penn State University, University Park, PA

Continue reading