Rising dual-purpose wheat for each grazing and grain manufacturing is a crucial agricultural follow within the Southern Nice Plains. However of late, extra Texas Rolling Plains producers wish to know if different programs to dual-purpose wheat, comparable to grazing cowl crops, can convey further worth.
Cowl crops are grown for a selected period within the cropping offseason after which terminated and left within the area to guard in opposition to soil erosion and to recycle vitamins within the soil, mentioned Paul DeLaune, Texas A&M AgriLife Analysis environmental soil scientist, Vernon. They shield the soil floor and supply residues to probably enhance soil construction, cut back compaction and enhance soil natural matter, which assist cut back soil erodibility, enhance water infiltration and enhance soil water-holding capability.
The advantages of utilizing cowl crops are documented, however their general adoption in Texas stays low, DeLaune mentioned.
Nevertheless, his newest analysis outcomes present that producers may get the most effective outcomes by combining cowl crops and conservation tillage — and including grazing to the combination.
Cowl crop biomass good for extra than simply conservation
The most important concern surrounding cowl crops is soil water use and return on funding, DeLaune mentioned. Normally, cowl crops are terminated and standing residue stays within the area. The query is, “Are we getting again sufficient soil well being advantages, and may we hay or graze the biomass and nonetheless obtain these soil well being advantages?”