Agronomic and management considerations for growing a CoverCress™ crop are provided below. Upon confirmation of interest, CCI will provide a complete agronomic guide and training opportunities that will cover all aspects of growing a successful CoverCress crop.

Field Selection

CoverCress seed establishes and grows well when planted on a wide range of soil types and conditions. The most effective method for reliable stand establishment is when there is some light disturbance of the soil surface and chopping of the crop residue such that residue is distributed evenly and pinned close to the soil surface. The following factors should be considered when planning where to grow this crop to ensure a high probability of its success:

  • Herbicide programs: HPPD-inhibiting herbicides applied pre-emergence only
  • Field drainage: Well-drained
  • Slope of field: Minimal slope
  • Weed control: Low weed pressure
  • Field selection: Later planted beans

Planting

CoverCress seed should be planted as soon as possible post-harvest of the preceding corn or soybean crop to take advantage of the heat, light, and moisture to ensure good stand establishment. The seed is very tiny and has specific requirements for germination.

Ideal planting methods include:

  • A vertical tillage tool equipped with an air seeder
  • A combine seeder with a chopping head
  • A vertical tillage tool and follow behind it with a spinner box or air spreader using fertilizer as the carrier for the seed

Seeding

  • Seeding Depth: Very shallow (<0.25in) or on the soil surface
  • Seeding Rate: 5 lbs./ac in lightly disturbed soil with light to medium residue; 5-8 lbs./ac on no-till ground and/or heavy, course crop residue
  • Seeding Timing: Early September through October 10th
  • Other Requirements: Adequate moisture equaling approximately one-half inch of rain within three days of planting

Fertility Management

CoverCress plants naturally glean residual nitrogen and other nutrients from the soil surface throughout their life cycle. Most of the rapid growth in CoverCress plants occurs in the first half of spring. Therefore, applying 40-50 lbs./ac of nitrogen is recommended in the early spring, before or when the plants begin to bolt after winter vernalization. CCI recommends a stand of 4-6 plants per sq/ft as an adequate stand to fertilize and take to yield.

Harvest

The harvest window opens when 95% of the pods have turned to a bright tan color, with the rest being some shade of yellow, typically between May 20–and May 30.

CoverCress field maturity progresses quickly under high temperatures (85°F or higher) and good drying conditions. Farmers should plan to harvest within 24 hours of grain delivery.

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