Research

Cover Crops Study

Key Points

  • Objective: This 10-year study is designed to evaluate the yield and economic benefits of a cover crop system in a continuous rotation.
  • Initial Results: Continuous corn planted after our first year showed yield losses compared to a non-cover crop system. A corn after soybean rotation showed identical yield to the non-cover crop system.
  • Potential Benefits: Cover crops have the potential to prevent soil and wind erosion, improve soil health, suppress weeds, improve the availability of water, and even help break pest cycles.

At the PTI Farm, we’re in the early years of a 10-year study to evaluate the impact of cover crops on our yield and economic performance. Cover crops have the potential to prevent soil and wind erosion, improve soil health and nutrition, suppress weeds, improve the availability of water, and even help break pest cycles.

With all the potential benefits, we wanted to find out if it was true.

Recently, we asked 1,000 midwest growers if they utilized cover crops. Half of them said yes! However, only a third felt like they were successful, another third said they were unsuccessful, while the final third wasn’t sure.

As we take a look at our initial data, we are currently losing around $30/A. However, when we compare this against the information being reported by Earth Observatory of crop losses up to 10%, our study results show minimal yield losses.

At the PTI Farm, we utilize strip tillage, banding fertilizer, and at-plant fertility. We think these methods are likely helping our crops avoid competition for nutrients.

We’ll need to continue testing to determine the long-term results, the difference in soil health, and if the cost of cover crops is ultimately worth it. Cover crops have the potential to offer big improvements across our fields, but it might come with some challenges too. Only time will tell!


Cover Crop Study Results


In-Depth Study Videos

InsidePTI S4•E01


Cover Crops ‣ Corn + Soybean

InsidePTI S3•E08


Cover Crops ‣ Corn + Soybean

InsidePTI S2•E31


Cover Crops


Study Details 

Study data collected 2020-2022 at the PTI Farm in Pontiac, IL.

Planting DateVaried By YearRotationVaried
Row Width30"Population

Corn - 36K

Soybean - 130K

Crop Prices

Corn:

2022 - $6.00

2021 - $5.00

2020 - $3.75

Soybean:

2022 - $13.96

2021 - $11.98

2020 - $9.75

Hybrid

2022 - GH 3902E3, GH 10L16, GH 12S75

2021 - GH 15J91, GH 10L16, GH 3902E3

2020 - GH 3546X


Related Tags

Corn

Soybeans

Planters

Fertilizer Application

InsidePTI


Related Products


Precision Planting's Conceal banded planter-applied fertilizer placement upgrade.

Conceal

Banded nitrogen placement

Contact

  • 23207 Townline Road Tremont, IL 61568
  • [email protected]
  • (309) 925-5050

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