Due to this fall’s late harvest of corn and soybeans, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Iowa Department of Agriculture are granting a two-week extension until Nov. 1 for farmers receiving state or federal cost-share assistance to plant cover crops. The extension is only available for winter-hardy, small grains that are likely to establish yet this fall, specifically winter rye, winter triticale and winter wheat. Other species such as oats, radishes, turnips and legumes are not likely to provide the desired growth. An estimated 108,000 acres of cover crops are supported by state cost-share programs, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture.
During the extension period, cover crops must be seeded as soon as possible after harvest and must be no-till drilled in crop residue to ensure good seed-to-soil contact for rapid germination. For more information, contact your local NRCS office.