Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Eileen J Kladivko

Committee Member 1

James J Camberato

Committee Member 2

Shaun N Casteel


Recently there has been great interest amongst producers to plant cover crops into corn-soybean (Zea mays L. – Glycine max L. Merr.) rotations. Oilseed radish (Raphanus sativus L.) (OSR) and cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) are two cover crops receiving attention due to nitrogen (N) scavenging abilities. This thesis is comprised of two projects, one focusing on OSR and the other on cereal rye. The objectives of the one-year OSR study were to repeat a study conducted in 2011-2012 to determine effects of OSR and OSR bicultures on inorganic soil-N concentrations with time, depth and distance from the OSR drilled row and on corn productivity. Cover crop treatments included a no cover crop control, OSR alone, OSR/oat (Avena sativa L.), and OSR/rye and were established in fall of 2013 at the Purdue Diagnostic Training Center (DTC) in West Lafayette, Indiana (IN). Bulk soil samples were taken in the fall, and detailed samples with depth and distance from the OSR drilled row were taken in spring on four sampling dates. Cover crop aboveground biomass samples were taken in fall and spring. Corn was established after rye termination and the following measures were taken during corn growth: V6 tissue samples, stalk nitrate, grain N content, plant populations and yields.