Addressing spring cover crop questions
By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension
I have had several questions through the winter on cover crop removal. I have experience with Austrian winter pea and annual ryegrass in some of my cover crop work at South Charleston at the OARDC Western Agricultural Research Station. Winter pea is easy — just apply your normal burndown of glyphosate, atrazine and favorite pre-emergent grass product for corn. My procedure was typically to plant, then immediately spray my burndown mixture, and this was very successful.
Annual ryegrass on the other hand was difficult. In reading the limited literature on control, it seems others have difficulty, too. The best nearby information I can find comes from the Weed Science group at Purdue University. I will quote below from a couple of their fact sheets.
From the Successful Cover Crop Termination with Herbicides bulletin, WS-50-W:www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/ws/ws-50-w.pdf. Annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) has become a very popular cover crop throughout the Midwest. Do not confuse annual ryegrass with cereal rye (Secale cereal L.). Annual ryegrass can be an ideal cover crop because of its ability to rapidly germinate in the fall, grow aggressively in the spring, and add substantial root and forage mass to the soil profile.
However, this plant’s aggressive and competitive nature makes it a potential weed problem in production crops. The introduction of annual ryegrass as a cover crop in Indiana and the possibility of it escaping as a weed is a concern. Annual ryegrass....(To read more, click the link below):