At the conclusion of this webinar participants will be able to develop a prescription for interseeding cover crops, understand the potential benefits of the practice, and describe situations where it will have the most potential for success. In this presentation we will review the practice of interseeding or relay cropping cover crops in corn and soybeans. We will discuss some of the historical perspective of the practice of relay cropping in the 1940’s in row crop agriculture in the US, research in the 1980’s, the adoption of the practice in Canada, and how we became interested in its potential. Next we will discuss the potential benefits of more widespread interseeding of cover crops in corn production. This includes improved soil health, improved yields, reduced runoff, reduced nitrate leaching potential, winter forage production, and some potential to offset the impacts of stover or straw removal in crop rotations.
The presentation will discuss the process of interseeding with specialized equipment developed for the process and cover crop seed options, timing and seeding rates. We will share some of the success stories developed from a recent USDA NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants project and also from researchers in other states. We will also discuss some of the challenges encountered in interseeding and tactics to reduce the establishment and financial risk associated with using the practice. These include site selection, cost sharing for cover crop establishment work and performing multiple operations while interseeding. This webinar is presented by the USDA NRCS Soil Health Division.