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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Cover Crops Cultivar & Planting Density Impacts on Cover Crop Productivity, & Weed Biomass & Seed Production in An Orgainc System in the Central Coast of California.

Authors
item Brennan, Eric
item Smith, Richard - U.C. COOP. EXT.

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 20, 2003
Publication Date: February 20, 2003
Citation: BRENNAN, E.B., SMITH, R. COVER CROPS CULTIVAR & PLANTING DENSITY IMPACTS ON COVER CROP PRODUCTIVITY, & WEED BIOMASS & SEED PRODUCTION IN AN ORGAINC SYSTEM IN THE CENTRAL COAST OF CALIFORNIA.. AMERICAN SOCIETY OF AGRONOMY. 2003. p.80-88.

Interpretive Summary: Cover crops are important components of crop rotations on organic farms. This study compared cover crop light interception, cover crop biomass production, weed biomass production and weed seed production in several winter cover crops including two cereals (rye and oats), a mustard mixture, and two legume/oat mixtures. Light interception differed markedly between the different cover crop treatments especially early in the season and increased with cover crop density. By the last harvest date, the legume/oat mixtures and rye at the high seeding rate had produced significantly more biomass than oats at the low seeding rate and mustard. Weed biomass production was highest under the legume/oat mixtures, and significantly more chickweed seed production occurred under these mixtures than under all of the other cover crops. The data suggest that increasing the seeding rate of the cereals and adding more oats to the legume/oats mixture reduced chickweed seed production.

Technical Abstract: Cover crops are important components of crop rotations on organic farms and affect soil quality, nutrient cycling, and pest and disease management. This study compared cover crop light interception, cover crop biomass production, weed biomass production and weed seed production in several winter cover crops including two cereals (rye and oats), a mustard mixture, and two legume/oat mixtures. The cereals were planted at two densities and the other cover crops were each planted at a single density. Light interception differed markedly between the different cover crop treatments especially early in the season and increased with cover crop density. There were significant differences in cover crop biomass production that changed over the season. By the last harvest date, the legume/oat mixtures and rye at the high seeding rate has produced significantly more biomass than oats at the low seeding rate and mustard. Weed biomass production was highest under the legume/oat mixtures, and significantly more chickweed seed production occurred under these mixtures than under all of the other cover crops. The data suggest that increasing the seeding rate of the cereals and adding more oats to the legume/oats mixture reduced chickweed seed production.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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