Results from 2010-11

The cover crop mixtures tested in 2010-11 included the species cereal rye, triticale, annual ryegrass, forage radish, forage rape, crimson clover, and hairy vetch. We monitored biomass production, nutrient accumulation, and forage quality to evaluate the performance of each mix across the state.

The 2010-11 demonstration network included 6 cover crop mixtures and 1 cover crop monoculture: annual ryegrass + crimson clover, annual ryegrass + triticale, cereal rye + oats, cereal rye + rape + hairy vetch, cereal rye + tillage radish + hairy vetch, cereal rye + tillage radish, and cereal rye.

Cover crop biomass from 10 demonstration sites was sampled in November 2010 to measure dry matter accumulation.

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Cover crop mixtures at three of the demonstration sites accumulated enough dry matter for fall grazing to be worthwhile. Forage quality was measured for the crimson clover + annual ryegrass, oats + cereal rye, and tillage radish + cereal rye mixtures at the Mongomery, Dauphin, and Lebanon county sites.

We measured total above ground biomass production as well as nitrogen and phosphorus accumulation in the biomass.

Forage quality of selected mixtures was measured during late April and early May of 2011.