Cereal rye is one of the few cover crop species that has been consistently succesful in Iowa in corn-soybean rotations because it can be planted late in the fall and survives Iowa winters. Here are five lessons learned with rye cover crops from the Iowa Learning Farms long term rye cover crop study.
The experimental site for this project is in central Iowa (ISU Boyd Research Farm, outside of Boone). A corn silage-soybean rotation with no till was established in 2001 and both phases of the rotation were present in each year. Two treatments were evaluated: a rye cover crop following both corn silage and soybean and a no rye (control) treatment. The rye cover crop was planted after silage or soybean harvest with a grain drill and killed with glyphosate in the spring.