Termination

Cover crops provide a multitude of agronomic and environmental benefits for growers, but In the end they're usually terminated ("killed") to provide nutrients back to the soil, increase carbon and soil organic matter and make room for cash crops — or become a highly nutritious food source for livestock. In this topic growers will find tips and strategies for ensuring the most efficient and effective termination of cover crops, whether it's by herbicide, winterkill, roller-crimper, mowing or other methods.

ARTICLES

Cover Crop Termination Affects Insect Populations

It was a cold, grey day to be counting bugs. Still, that's what they were doing moving across a field of cereal rye from one trap to the next. It's all part of the work Illinois Extension Entomologist Nick Seiter is doing with cover crops. Read more in this article from KMA Land.
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Herbicides Still Most Popular Cover Crop Termination Method

As with all things related to cover crops, growers have a bevy of options to choose from, including termination methods. According to the results of the first-ever Cover Crop Benchmark Study conducted by Cover Crop Strategies, herbicides were the termination method of choice for a whopping 69% of growers in 2019.
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Roller Crimping Cover Crops

Crop roller “crimping” has become a common way to mechanically terminate cover crops. Crimpers are used to kill grass cover crops (cereal rye, barley, wheat, sorghum, Sudan, pearl millet), vetches (hairy and common), annual clovers (crimson and balansa), buckwheat, and multi-species cover crops. Read more in this article from Ohio's Country Journal.
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Consider Planting Green

Those who did have the chance to burn down cover crops may notice the dead residue insulating the soil. This is excellent for soil conservation, traps excess moisture and slows evaporation, so soil takes longer to dry enough to be suitable for corn and soybean planting. Read more in this article from Lancaster Farming.
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Terminate Cover Crops at the Right Size

Cover crops provide many benefits, ranging from soil health to erosion control, and can also be an important tool in an integrated weed management program. However, termination of cover crops is an important factor to consider to ensure that they don’t hurt your cash crops yield, said Andy Luke, University of Missouri Extension regional field specialist in agronomy. Read more in this article from KMA Radio.
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Use Cover Crops to Create a Green Bridge for Pests

There are some basic management practices that can affect, sometimes worsen, and other times be used to reduce risks of insect pest injury. As a general rule of thumb (but not universally true), no-till production increases the risk of some problems including pests like cutworm, three-cornered alfalfa hopper, slugs, and several below ground pests (e.g., wireworms and white grubs). Read more in this article from Cotton Grower.
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Tips for Terminating Cover Crops Without Glyphosate

With the popular weed killer in legal straits in the U.S., no-tillers say they’d turn to other chemicals, rollers or other options. But most won’t give up on cover crops.
Glyphosate has been invaluable to no-tillers in North America and overseas as an inexpensive, effective tool for not only killing weeds but also terminating cover crops ahead of or after planting.
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Attend the 2020 Virtual National Strip-Tillage Conference

Join the most innovative, forward-thinking strip-till farmers, agronomists and researchers today at the 7th annual National Strip-Tillage Conference being held 100% online, August 6-8, 2020. Discover practical cover cropping techniques and hundreds of proven ideas to boost your strip-till yields and save on input costs.

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