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Oklahoma Producer Jimmy Emmons Demonstration Farm - Dewey County
Jimmy Emmons, Dewey County producer and conservation district board member, is very interested in soil conservation and promoting healthy soils while continuing to produce the food, fiber and forage we all need. With that in mind, Jimmy approached NRCS with the idea of including demonstration projects on some of his cropland fields. He produces wheat, canola and alfalfa as well as being a livestock producer. His cropland management system includes no-till and conservation tillage and he’s interested in including cover crops as a management strategy to help improve the health of his soils.
In June 2013, after the wheat and canola harvest, 3 fields were planted with cover crop blends and evaluated for dry matter production.
Site 1, known as the north pivot, is an irrigated field that was divided into 2 halves with one side left as standing wheat stubble in a no-till system while the other half was planted to a cover crop mix that included pearl millet, Egyptian wheat, cowpeas, mung beans, buckwheat and nitro radishes.
Site 2, known as the conservation tillage plot, had the wheat harvested then the field was tilled with a sweep before planting a 100 foot wide demonstration strip across the field. The cover crop mix on this field included pearl millet, cowpeas, mung beans, nitro radishes and sunflower.
Site 3, known as the no-till plot, had the wheat harvested and a cover crop mix of hairy vetch, sainfoin, yellow sweet clover and nitro radishes planted in a 100 foot wide demonstration strip. This mix was intended to grow fragile legume residue that could be easily managed while planting canola this fall and to test the growth of vetch and sainfoin in the heat of summer. They are generally planted in the fall or spring. Germination and emergence of this mix was not very good and production was low.
To the left is a set of photo’s from each site documenting the growth from planting day (June 27th) through the day of termination (August 26th).