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Soil Sense

90 EpisodesProduced by NDSU ExtensionWebsite

Welcome to the Soil Sense Podcast, where we believe that building healthier soils is not just a prescription, but rather a pursuit. This journey requires collaboration, curiosity, and communication among farmers, agricultural researchers, agronomists, consultants, and extension. You’re going to hear… read more

25:58

Interseeding Cover Crops for Livestock Forage with Dr. Marisol Berti and Dr. Yvonne Lawley

Today we focus on interseeding cover crops with forage quality in mind and exciting areas for ongoing research. We are joined by Dr. Marisol Berti, a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at North Dakota State University, and Dr. Yvonne Lawley, an Assistant Professor in the Plant Science Department at the University of Manitoba.

“When people want to get into cover crops….we can’t really give you a recipe. We need to know what do you want the cover crops for? You know, if you want forage in the fall or forage in the spring, you’re going to have to change some practices.” - Dr. Marisol Berti

Dr. Berti found that intercropping corn with legumes such as alfalfa will provide a good forage and from a behavioral standpoint encourage the cattle to graze the field for longer periods of time in the winter because of a windbreak provided by the corn stocks. Unfortunately, there was not evidence of usable nitrogen left in the soil for the next crop. So if there isn’t the added benefit of nitrogen with interseeding, how do producers recover the added expense of cover crops while still providing forage?

“One way to get it back is when you raise cover crops, animals gain weight and that actually pays for the cover crops. So integrating with livestock really pays for the cover crops.” - Dr. Marisol Berti

Dr. Lawley shares that “science is exciting because one idea leads to a new question.” Many were surprised about the lack of nitrogen fixation after adding a legume to the corn crop. She shares that the research is ongoing and we are learning more about these fundamental processes which allow us to recommend agronomic adjustments. That in turn will allow for more accurate predictions of benefits and risks for producers.

"We wanted to harness all of the potential of corn as a feed crop but then use intercropping to overcome some of its weaknesses." - Dr. Yvonne Lawley


This Week on Soil Sense:

  • Meet Dr. Marisol Berti and Dr. Yvonne Lawley
  • Explore the benefits of interseeding corn with forage type cover crops and find out how to get the most benefit out of the process
  • Learn about ongoing research to understand the processes involved in this technique in production

Connect with Soil Sense:

Soil Sense Podcast is hosted by Tim Hammerich of the Future of Agriculture Podcast.

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