Farmer Case Study: Using Wheat as a Cover Crop & Managing Nitrogen Tie-Up

“We are in Palmer amaranth country down here,” as Cumberland, Virginia farmer Anthony Beery puts it. 

Beery, who grows row crops in central Virginia and runs Cumberland Hay & Straw, LLC, knows better than to tackle that king of weeds with herbicides alone. He’s experimented with cover crops for years, first cereal rye and now wheat, and seen significant weed control benefits. 

Watch and hear what he’s learned about planting green into rolled and standing covers, and how he manages the nitrogen tie-up that can come with grassy cover crops. 

00:11 – Managing Palmer Amaranth and Nitrogen with Cover Crops
00:51 – Managing Weeds with Cover Crop Biomass: Cereal Rye vs. Wheat
01:27 – Rolling Rye Before and After Planting: Pros and Cons
02:12 – Using Wheat as a Cover Crop: Less Biomass When Planting Green
02:51 – The Benefits of Planting into Standing Wheat vs. Rolled Wheat
03:57 – Weed Control Results of Wheat Cover Crop
04:33 – Nitrogen Management with Cover Crops
04:53 – Using Multi-Species Covers to Limit Nitrogen Tie-Up

See more from GROW on managing weeds with cover crops and planting green

Video by Claudio Rubione, GROW; text by Emily Unglesbee, GROW