4 - 2020 South Central Ag Lab Field Day
2020 South Central Ag Lab Field Day
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- [00:00:04.670]My name is Katja Koehler-Cole.
- [00:00:06.080]I'm a research assistant professor with
the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's,
- [00:00:09.500]agronomy and horticulture department.
- [00:00:12.290]And I am talking today about cover
crops for pollinators and soil
- [00:00:17.090]health. So this field here,
- [00:00:20.360]shows a new study that we started,
- [00:00:22.790]where we're testing a variety of warm
season and cool season cover crops,
- [00:00:27.860]the planted after winter wheat.
- [00:00:30.170]And we are interested in learning,
- [00:00:34.110]the value of these cover crops
for pollinators, especially,
- [00:00:37.970]but also as far also for soil health.
- [00:00:40.910]So I'm just going to go
across the field and,
- [00:00:45.680]show you some of these common crops,
farmers in Nebraska already growing these,
- [00:00:50.090]usually though they are,
they're a part of mixes,
- [00:00:53.870]that are planted after winter wheat.
- [00:00:57.710]we have decided to plant all of these
separately that allows us to kind of look
- [00:01:02.540]at the species themselves a
little bit more closely.
- [00:01:07.130]what I have here right in
front of me is buckwheat.
- [00:01:10.460]And I don't know if you can see this,
- [00:01:12.440]but there are already a bunch of insects
or this is just starting to bloom.
- [00:01:16.970]it is very, very attractive
plants to a lot of,
- [00:01:22.100]pollinators. And, it
starts growing pretty quickly.
- [00:01:26.540]This year was, was planted,
just an, an,
- [00:01:31.670]late July and it's already
starting to flower,
- [00:01:35.450]and to shake a lot of intakes
it's provides nectar and pollen,
- [00:01:39.680]especially later in the season when
there's kind of usually a lack of,
- [00:01:44.510]food sources for those pollinators
and our agricultural landscapes.
- [00:01:48.950]So this is the buckwheat and,
- [00:01:51.770]another species protesting is sun hemp.
- [00:01:55.730]It was planted at the same
time. as you can see,
- [00:01:59.750]not quite flowering yet, but,
- [00:02:01.970]Sunland is also a good cover
crop because it's a lagoon.
- [00:02:05.840]It can provide nitrogen. it
usually puts on a lot of crows.
- [00:02:09.320]It's a warm season crop. so
we're pretty excited to see what,
- [00:02:13.100]what it's going to do for us here.
- [00:02:16.280]moving over where we've
tested some Crimson Clover,
- [00:02:20.210]it's a little bit harder to see.
- [00:02:24.020]we're thinking that there's probably,
it needs a little bit more moisture,
- [00:02:27.320]so it hasn't really come up that much yet,
- [00:02:30.500]but Crimson Clover is another very,
pollinator friendly cover crop.
- [00:02:34.490]It's also a ligament can provide,
quite a bit of nitrogen.
- [00:02:40.160]We also, we're also
testing some grasses,
- [00:02:45.170]just because they are usually,
- [00:02:48.860]they're usually part of mixes. So this
year is sorghum Sudan cross under.
- [00:02:52.550]It's actually a little bit of
hairy vetch growing here. So again,
- [00:02:55.940]all of these were planted at
the same time in late July,
- [00:03:00.280]you can just see the differences and
growth just within that time span.
- [00:03:06.130]And I'm going to have
to check my map here.
- [00:03:11.410]this was pro millet.
- [00:03:15.340]A couple of other things
are growing here too.
- [00:03:17.980]not quite as tall as the sorghum sudan.
- [00:03:24.340]The next cover crop we're
looking at is a radish.
- [00:03:29.020]So radishes are often
grown as sort of,
- [00:03:33.580]a cover crop that's really good for
breaking up parts or layers for that,
- [00:03:39.190]providing better water infiltration.
they can also provide quite good,
- [00:03:43.720]weed suppression, but they
can also be they flower,
- [00:03:49.030]and can also provide,
- [00:03:52.450]habitat and food for pollinators.
Okay, moving over one more.
- [00:03:59.020]And this is also, this
is sorghum Sudan grass.
- [00:04:03.820]It's a warm season crass and puts
on quite a bit of biomass. So,
- [00:04:07.690]it's a pretty popular
component of mixtures
- [00:04:12.610]as far as for pollinators probably
does not have a lot of,
- [00:04:17.320]benefit for pollinators, but it's,
since it's a part of mixtures,
- [00:04:20.500]we wanted to determine
its biomass productivity
- [00:04:24.700]and these over here, of
course, the sunflowers,
- [00:04:30.190]again, planted at the same
time, sunflowers are also
good, good pollinator crop,
- [00:04:34.810]and they can be, very beneficial.
- [00:04:37.540]Also full solar helps they help break
up soil, hard layers in the soil,
- [00:04:41.680]help improve water infiltration can
provide some organic matter and then
- [00:04:46.510]all last cover crop going over here.
- [00:04:53.050]this is cowpea. Cowpead is another
legume, warm season legume.
- [00:04:58.240]it's not been grown as much
as some of the other legumes,
- [00:05:01.330]but it can be in more Southern climates.
- [00:05:05.410]It's very productive.
- [00:05:06.340]So we're just trying to see what
it does for us here in Nebraska.
- [00:05:11.080]So the most important thing
for growing cover crops for
- [00:05:15.580]pollinators and probably
for most other purposes too,
- [00:05:19.180]is to get them in as soon as you can,
- [00:05:21.340]especially like here we were
planting after winter wheat.
- [00:05:25.840]hopefully as soon as the combine leaves,
- [00:05:27.490]you can get in that field
and plant your covers,
- [00:05:30.370]that gives them enough time to use
up the moisture that's available,
- [00:05:35.290]use up to sunlight and the warm
temperatures and provide biomass.
- [00:05:39.640]And hopefully if you're wanting to
support pollinators, start flowering,
- [00:05:44.710]and one important thing to
keep in mind. If you have flowers,
- [00:05:48.910]you can also get seats. So make sure,
- [00:05:53.090]you can manage, the cover crops
before they actually set seed.
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