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  • Brian Dougherty

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    June 23, 2021 at 11:36 am
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    Hi Phillip, we are trying something similar at an Iowa State University research farm, but with perennial bluegrass rather than clover. Researchers have been trying multiple different species to see what works best as a perennial cover in corn (including clovers) and settled on the bluegrass. It’s my understanding that the first ~21 days after emergence is the critical period when shade avoidance response will cause the most problems. The general recommendation is to suppress it (turn it brown) to avoid a yield hit but that may not be an option in an organic system. As far as how wide the strip needs to be, I don’t know of any research on that. Practical Farmers of Iowa did some work looking at spacing with corn planted green into cereal rye and basically found that the further away it was from the corn row the better. They weren’t looking at shade avoidance response specifically but I suspect the same thing would apply with clover. if you need more details I can try to dig up the research on different species used with corn.