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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Mitigating the Effects of Vegetable Production on Surrounding Ecosystems

Authors
item Heighton Davies, Lynne
item HAPEMAN, CATHLEEN
item RICE, PAMELA
item Starr, James
item Mcconnell, Laura
item SADEGHI, ALI
item Isensee, Allan - RETIRED ARS
item Teasdale, John

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 25, 2001
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Vegetable producers use plastic (polyethylene) mulch to control moisture, temperature and weeds. The polyethylene mulch system is associated with runoff which often contains excessive soil, pesticides and nutrients. Cereal rye was tested and found to meet the initial requirements for a vegetative filter, i.e., early spring growth, summer dormancy and ability to withstand tractor and walker traffic. These vegetative filter strips were then tested in the furrows between the rows for their ability to mitigate soil loss. Initial studies showed a ten fold decrease in soil loss compared to polyethylene mulch covered beds with bare soil furrows. No significant change in total production yield was observed.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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