Aug 19 2008 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Field Day To Feature Innovative Cover Cropping System
Roller-Crimper Kills Cover Crop Without Use of Herbicide
Tuesday, August 19th
Borodino Fire Hall, Nunnery Rd. (Onondaga County)
Submitted by Chuck Kyle
The Skaneateles Lake Watershed Agricultural Program (SLWAP) along with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County will be showcasing the results of a demonstration project that began last fall with the planting of over 50 acres of cover crops on 6 farms around Skaneateles Lake. In early June a roller-crimper mounted on the front of a tractor was used to kill these cover crops, while a no-till planter followed behind planting corn, soybeans and pumpkins into a thick, weed-suppressing mulch. Hairy vetch and Austrian winter pea cover crops were used to provide nitrogen for corn, while a rye cover crop provided maximum biomass for weed control in soybeans. This method is gaining popularity among organic growers who gain the benefits of no-till and eliminate costly cultivation, while maintaining their organic certification.
The project originated from a trip that Skaneateles Lake Watershed area farmers and SLWAP staff took in April of 2007 to the Rodale Institute in Kutztown Pennsylvania. During the trip farmers and SLWAP staff learned about this innovative system through the demonstration plots at the Rodale. Following the trip, SLWAP staff along with several farmers decided to see if the system could be adapted to the growing conditions in Central New York. Financial support was provided by the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the City of Syracuse.
The first year of demonstration plots have had a number of successes and challenges. Successes include a thick, weed-suppressing mulch in soybeans and a nitrogen credit from the cover crop in corn. Challenges include delayed planting dates and seed availability for early maturing cover crops.
The field day will take place August 19th 2008 from 1:00-3:00 pm at the Borodino Fire Hall on Nunnery Rd. in Spafford Twp., NY. The fire hall is about a hundred yards from where Nunnery Rd. intersects Route 41 in the center of Borodino. A presentation of the methods used and preliminary results along with a question and answer period will begin at 1:00 pm. At 2:00 pm attendees will be invited to travel a short distance to several demonstration sights. Pre-registration is appreciated. For registration and directions contact Julia Story at 315-424-9485 ext. 228 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about the project contact Eric Jensen, SLWAP Resource Conservation Specialist at 315-677-4630 or email@example.com.