Growing Season Reflections: One Wisconsin producer says he would have done cover crops differently

While combines are rolling across the country, one farmer is reflecting on the growing season.
The Agronomy Manager for Holsum Dairies says that while he could not make it rain, he wished cover crops were done differently.

According to John Vandenboom, “This winter rye, I think is a great tool. I think it’s great in soil health; I think it’s fantastic to have growing. It does have to be managed very closely because, this year we saw if a field was allowed to let that winter rye grow, it did suck a lot of the moisture out and, hindsight being 20/20, now we know it was going to be dry. But, before that, you didn’t think it was going to be that dry. It definitely made a difference if that rye was terminated early enough and it did not suck out as much moisture from the ground and we saw a huge difference between rye that was allowed to grow and use that soil moisture and then the crop following did not have enough to grow versus ones that were terminated earlier.”

If crops were not planted directly in the soil moisture this season, the farmer said there was a ton of variability in emergence.

Agriculture Shows
From soil to harvest. Top Crop is an all-new series about four of the best farmers in the world—Dan Luepkes, of Oregan, Illinois; Cory Atley, of Cedarville, Ohio; Shelby Fite, of Jackson Center, Ohio; Russell Hedrick, of Hickory, North Carolina—reveals what it takes for them to make a profitable crop. It all starts with good soil, patience, and a strong planter setup.
Champions of Rural America is a half-hour dive into the legislative priorities for Rural America. Join us as we interview members of the Congressional Western Caucus to learn about efforts in Washington to preserve agriculture and tackles the most important topics in the ag industry on Champions of Rural America!
Farm Traveler is for people who want to connect with their food and those who grow it. Thanks to direct-to-consumer businesses, agritourism, and social media, it’s now easier than ever to learn how our food is made and support local farmers. Here on the Farm Traveler, we want to connect you with businesses offering direct-to-consumer products you can try at home, agritourism sites you can visit with your family, and exciting new technologies that are changing how your food is being grown.
Featuring members of Congress, federal and state officials, ag and food leaders, farmers, and roundtable panelists for debates and discussions.
Host Ben Bailey hops in the tractor cab, giving farmers 10 minutes to answer as many questions and grab as much cash as they can for their local FFA chapter.