View Poster Application

The Effect of Lowering Corn Populations on Interseeded Cover Crop Yield and Quality

Applied Research

Jake Hadfield
Extension Assistant Professor
Utah State University


As Utah producers have begun interseeding cover crops into rows of growing corn, USU Extension has aimed to provide applicable research detailing the optimal timing and conditions for a successful corn and cover crop harvest. This research project focuses on the effects of lowering corn populations on interseeded cover crop yield and quality, as well as overall corn silage yields.   

Three research plots, placed in producer-owned corn fields, were selected across the state of Utah. Plots were 30’ long (30-inch row spacing) and 15’ wide with three treatments including normal (N; 34,000 plants/acre), low (L; 28,000 plants/acre), and very low (VL; 23,000 plants/acre) corn population levels with cover crop interseeded at the V6 corn growth stage in each treatment. A control was also utilized and was planted at the same rate as the normal treatment (34,000 plants/acre) but did not have any cover crop interseeded within the plot. Treatments were replicated four times utilizing a randomized complete block design. All corn production practices were managed by the cooperating producers. Hand harvesting occurred in late September 2022, when silage corn had reached 65% moisture. A 10’ section of the two innermost corn rows in each plot was harvested to determine the overall corn silage yield. Two smaller sections of cover crop (0.2 m2) were harvested in late October 2022 to determine cover crop yield and nutritional quality. A sub-sample of 3 randomly selected corn stocks, and the cover crop sub-sample, were chopped in a woodchipper and prepared for forage quality analysis. Corn and cover crop quality samples were analyzed at a certified lab for nutritional parameters.

Cover crops interseeded into N corn populations averaged 1302.58 kg/hectare. Cover crops interseeded into L corn populations had 1746.37 kg/hectare. Interestingly, cover crops interseeded into VL corn populations averaged less than cover crops interseeded into L, but averaged more than cover crops interseeded into N populations at 1625.99 kg/hectare. Final statistical analysis is currently pending.

Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted only for display at AM/PIC. Poster is not to be judged, but the abstract will be published in the proceedings.

A poster file has not been provided

Authors: Jake Hadfield, Cody Zesiger, Kalen Taylor, Justin Clawson, Mike Pace, Jody Gale, Matt Yost, Earl Creech
  1. Hadfield, J. Extension Assistant Professor, USU Extension, Utah, 84648
  2. Zesiger, C. Extension Assistant Professor, USU Etension, Utah, 84404
  3. Taylor, K. Extension Assistant Professor, USU Extension, Utah, 84624
  4. Clawson, J. Extension Assistant Professor, USU Extension, Utah, 84321
  5. Pace, M. Extension Professor, USU Extension, Utah, 84302
  6. Gale, J. Extension Associate Professor, USU Extension, Utah, 84701
  7. Yost, M. Associate Professor, USU Extension, Utah, 84321
  8. Creech, E. Associate Professor, USU Extension, Utah, 84321