Project ID



Scientists conducted laboratory and field studies to find out what effects cereal rye cover crops might have on corn yield under different contidions and different management tactics.

Key Question

Cereal rye cover crops occasionally cause yield decreases in a corn crop that follows. Is this corn yield decline caused by corn seedling root pathogens that originate from the roots of dying rye cover crop plants?


Spraying a rye cover crop with glyphosate 10 to 14 days before corn planting can reduce the risk of root infections in corn seedlings following a rye cover crop.

Principal Investigator(s)

Tom Kaspar

Principal Investigator(s) Bio

Tom Kaspar is a Plant Physiologist at the USDA-ARS National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment in Ames, Iowa. He also serves as a USDA Collaborator/Professor with the Agronomy Department at Iowa State University. He focuses on crop and soil management to improve water quality and soil productivity. His recent research has focused on the environmental benefits of small grain cover crops in corn-soybean rotations.


Tom Moorman

Year of Grant Completion