Organic Weed Control and Cover Crop Residue Integration Impacts on Weed Control, Quality, Yield and Economics in Conservation Tillage Tomato-A Case Study
The increased adoption of conservation tillage and organic weed control practices in vegetable production requires more information on the role of various cover crops in integrated weed control, tomato quality, and yield. Two conservation-tillage systems utilizing crimson clover and cereal rye as winter cover crops were compared to a conventional black polythene mulch system, with or without organic weed management options, for weed control, tomato yield, and profitability. All cover crops were terminated with a mechanical roller/crimper prior to planting. Organic weed control treatments included: 1) flaming utilizing a one burner hand torch, 2) PRE application of corn gluten, 3) PRE application of corn gluten followed by flaming, or 4) intermittent hand weeding as needed. A non-treated control and a standard herbicide program were included for comparison. The herbicide program consisting of a PRE application of S-metolachlor (1.87 kg a.i./ha) followed by an early POST metribuzin (0.56 kg a.i. /ha) application followed by a late POST application of clethodim (0.28 kg a.i./ha). In general, high-residue clover and cereal rye cover crops provided substantial suppression of Palmer amaranth, large crabgrass, and yellow nutsedge. Across systems, minimum input in high-residue systems provided the highest net returns above variable costs compared to organic herbicide treatments that are costly and provide marginal benefit.
Part of the book: Organic Farming
Peanut Performance and Weed Management in a High-residue Cover Crop System
Previous research has indicated that conservation tillage is a viable option for successful peanut production; however, interactions between cover crop residues and peanut growth are not fully understood. Additional information is needed about the effects of varying levels of cover crop biomass on peanut growth and development. Level of cover crop residue may also affect the preemergence herbicide activity through interception and efficacy of weed suppression. The objectives of this peanut research were to determine if varying amounts of cover crop biomass would affect peanut growth, herbicide interception, or weed control. This research also aimed to determine if cover crop management practices (rolling or standing cover) would affect herbicide interception rates. The study consisted of a rye (Secale cereale L.) cover crop planted at three different dates as well as a fallow treatment at two locations: Dawson, GA, and Headland, AL. Pendimethalin was applied PRE at 1 kg ai/ha across the entire area just prior to planting of the Georgia 03-L peanut variety. Soil samples were collected at three different dates after planting for high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis to determine pendimethalin levels. Peanut yields differed only between location regardless of cover crop residue level with the Headland, Alabama, site averaging 4,272 kg/ha and the Dawson, Georgia, site averaging 2,247 kg/ha. Pendimethalin extraction from soil samples indicated no difference in herbicide recovery between winter fallow systems compared to treatments with cover crops. Weed control ratings taken at 21 and 45 days after planting (DAP) showed greater weed suppression for cover crop systems for an extended period of time when higher levels of cover crop biomass are present. Results of this experiment indicate the inclusion of cover crops in a conservation-tilled peanut system can be a successful alternative to winter fallow systems without reducing peanut yield or herbicide efficacy.
Part of the book: Herbicides
Evaluation of Herbicide Efficacy, Injury, and Yield in White Lupin (Lupinus albus L.)
White lupin is of increasing interest in the southeastern United States (US) as a winter legume cover crop or as mid-winter forage for ruminants. White lupins are poor weed competitors during early establishment, making effective weed control necessary; however, only three herbicides are currently registered for use in lupin. An experiment was conducted at two Alabama sites in 2007 and 2008 to evaluate herbicide efficacy provided by ten preemergence (PRE) and nine postemergence (POST) herbicides as well as lupin injury and yield. Overall, PRE applied herbicides, particularly imazethapyr, linuron, and flumioxazin, caused less crop injury than POST herbicides while providing ≥ 86% control of annual bluegrass, corn spurry, heartwing sorrel, henbit, and lesser swinecress six weeks after application. Grass-active herbicides, fluazifop and sethoxydim, provided greater than 95% of annual bluegrass control without causing unrecoverable lupin damage. Imazethapyr applied POST controlled shepherd’s purse (96% to 98%), cutleaf evening-primrose (81% to 96%), and wild radish (71% to 99%) without lupin injury. POST-directed spray applications of glyphosate and flumioxazin provided good weed control of corn spurry (80% to 98%) and winter vetch (71% to 95%) but caused significant crop injury due to drift. In general, grain yields were only reduced with the use of chlorimuron, diclosulam, glyphosate, and thifensulfuron. This research suggests there are several herbicides not currently registered that could be beneficial for use in US lupin production.
Part of the book: Herbicides
Herbicide and Cover Crop Residue Integration in Conservation Tillage Tomato
The increased adoption of conservation tillage in vegetable production requires more information on the role of various cover crops in weed control, tomato quality, and yield. Three conservation-tillage systems utilizing crimson clover, turnip, and cereal rye as winter cover crops were compared to a conventional black polythene mulch system, with or without herbicide, for weed control and tomato yield. All cover crops were flattened with a mechanical roller/crimper prior to chemical desiccation. Herbicide treatments included a PRE application of S-metolachlor (1.87 kg a.i. ha−1) either alone, or followed by an early POST metribuzin (0.56 kg a.i. ha−1) application followed by a late POST application of clethodim (0.28 kg a.i. ha−1). Except for spotted spurge and tall morningglory only the main effect of herbicide treatments and cover crops affected weed control. For the majority of the weeds, no significant differences in weed control were observed with rye residue and plastic mulch treatments; however, turnip and crimson clover residue failed to control most weeds. Rye residue provided 86% large crabgrass, 80% goosegrass and 84% Broadleaf signalgrass control. Yellow nutsedge was controlled 65% by plastic mulch and only 60% by Rye residue. Pokeweed was controlled 80% by plastic mulch treatment. S-metolachlor applied PRE was sufficient in controlling leafy spurge and tall morningglory in plastic mulch and rye residue plots. Yield was less following either crimson clover or turnip cover crops compared to rye or the polythene mulch system. Application of herbicides resulted in better yields compared to the no-herbicide treatments. Economic analysis indicated that there was no significant difference between using a rye cover crop or plastic under any of the alternative herbicide treatment regimes in 2005. This research demonstrates the possibility of growing tomato in conservation tillage systems using high residue cover crops and herbicides to maintain season long weed control.
Part of the book: Alternative Crops and Cropping Systems
Cover-Crop Management Influences Residue Biomass and Subsequent Weed Suppression in a Conservation Agriculture Corn and Cotton RotationView all chapters
The use of winter cover crops is an integral component of conservation systems in a corn and cotton conservation agriculture rotation. Field experiments were conducted from the autumn of 2003 through cash crop harvest in 2006 at three locations. The treatments were five cover-crop-planting timings each fall and four cover-crop termination timings each spring. Five crimson clover or cereal rye planting timings occurred: on the average first 0○C temperature date, 4 and 2 weeks prior and 4 and 2 weeks after the average 0○C temperature date. Termination dates were 1–4 weeks prior to the average optimum soil temperature date for the establishment of each cash crop. Results showed that biomass production by winter covers decreased with even a week’s delay in winter cover-crop seeding and resulted in a corresponding increase in summer annual weed biomass. More than 10 times difference in biomass produced by clover was observed when clover was planted on the earliest date and terminated on the last date compared to late planting and early termination, rye eight times. Correspondingly, weed biomass was 556 kg ha−1 in the treatment with least rye biomass, eight times higher compared to the treatment with greatest rye biomass.
Part of the book: Cotton Research