Iowa farmers have been experimenting with cover crops for many years and until recently, typically seeded cover crops after harvest. Now, there is growing interest in seeding cover crops early in the season, at the V3 or earlier stage in corn, for example. 

Michael Vittetoe of Washington is one of those farmers who sees the potential benefits of improved soil health and erosion control from early-season interseeding cover crops in his corn and soybean fields.

Vittetoe, who farms in southeast Iowa with his father Denny and grandfather Leo, has been experimenting with interseeded cover crops since 2016 and says “it’s a balancing act”.

In 2016 the Vittetoes had limited success getting interseeded cover ...