Home 5 Ag Stories Killing winter cover crops may prove tricky this spring

Killing winter cover crops may prove tricky this spring

Photo Courtesy of DuPont Pioneer

Mother Nature has been having trouble making up her mind this spring.  We are almost a full month into the spring season, and while the temperatures towards the end of the week feel like spring, the weekend will feel like late winter, yet again.

Farmers are chomping at the bit to get in the field. However, farmers planting winter cover crops have a different outlook, heading into what looks to be a wet spring.

If you used wintering cover crops, you might see them start to green up. Rebecca Vittetoe, of Iowa State Extension, tells producers cover crops might look different this year, due to a more cool and wet spring.

Such conditions are not ideal for those wanting to terminate cover crops ahead of spring planting. Many farmers are worried about the spring fieldwork window being too narrow already. Vittetoe reminds farmers cover crop need to be actively growing for the herbicide to do its job properly.

What are the minimum ideal conditions to effectively terminate cover crops? Vittetoe recommends a stretch of weather where the highs are topping 60 degrees and lows staying at 40 degrees or above.

It has been the same advice all spring. Patience is key. Farmers cannot compare this year to last. There is still time to plant crops and have them be successful.