104650 Introducing Grazeable Summer Cover Crops to Wheat Systems in Oklahoma.
Poster Number 717
Monday, October 23, 2017
Tampa Convention Center, East Exhibit Hall
Winter wheat is a valuable crop in Oklahoma which grows from fall to spring. During summer fields are kept fallow; consequently, prone to erosion, weeds and water losses. Summer cover crops might be a good fit because they are known for reducing erosion, weeds, and improving soil health in different environments. However, their benefits and effects in wheat crop systems were not investigated in Oklahoma conditions. Moreover, cover crops add extra costs and its benefits might be significant after several years. Grazing cover crops might be an option that adds immediate benefit to the system by increasing profit in the short term. However, improper grazing may diminish all cover crops benefits. To assess the effects of summer cover crops and their grazing potential in winter wheat crop systems, experimental fields were established late spring of 2016 in Chickasha and Perkins, OK. Three legumes, three grasses, two mixes, and fallow (check) were evaluated under three simulated grazing regimes such as severe, proper, and no grazing. Grazing severity was based on minimum stubble height recommended for each cover crop by previous publications. Cover crops were terminated, and winter wheat was no-till planted in all plots in early fall of 2016. Wheat was harvested in late spring of 2017. Data collection will include: cover crop forage yield and quality, residual cover crop biomass and its canopy cover, and grain wheat yield. The results that will be presented will have a discussion focused on the suitability of introducing grazeable summer cover crops to the existing wheat systems in Oklahoma.
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