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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Winter Weed Suppression by Winter Cover Crops in a Conservation-Tillage Corn and Cotton Rotation

Authors
item Saini, Monika - AUBURN UNIVERSITY
item Price, Andrew
item Van Santen, Edzard - AUBURN UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Annual Southern Conservation Tillage Conference for Sustainable Agriculture
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 27, 2005
Publication Date: June 27, 2005
Citation: Saini, M., Price, A.J., Van Santen, E. 2005. Winter weed suppression by winter cover crops in a conservation-tillage corn and cotton rotation. In:Proceedins of the Southern Conservation Tillage Systems Conference, June 27-29, 5005, Florence, South Carolina. p. 124-128.

Interpretive Summary: An integral component of a conservation-tillage system in corn and cotton is the use of a winter cover crop. A field experiment was initiated in 2002 to evaluate winter weed dynamics following various winter cover crops in both continuous cotton and a corn and cotton rotation. Winter cover crops included black oats, two crimson clover entries; two cultivars of forage rape, spring and winter; oil radish; three cultivars of turnip, white lupin; and a mixture of black oat and lupin. Two-year conservation-tillage rotational sequences included conventionally tilled continuous corn and cotton winter fallow systems as controls. The 10 conservation tillage winter cover crop systems investigated were three continuous cotton systems that alternated a winter legume (lupin or clover), six cotton-corn systems, where lupin preceded cotton and radish, rape, or turnip preceded corn, and a cotton-corn system that had a lupin-black oat mixture as a winter cover crop every year. Use of lupin or ‘AU Robin’ clover resulted weed biomass reduction of up to 80% and 54%, respectively, in weed biomass compared to the fallow system. The highest yielding corn-cotton conservation tillage rotation with a winter cover yielded 200 lbs/acre more that the continuous cotton winter fallow system. Continuous conventional corn with winter fallow yielded 30 bu/acre less than the highest yielding 2-yr, conservation tillage winter crop system.

Technical Abstract: An integral component of a conservation-tillage system in corn and cotton is the use of a winter cover crop. A field experiment was initiated in 2002 to evaluate winter weed dynamics following various winter cover crops in both continuous cotton and a corn (Zea mays L.) and cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) rotation. Winter cover crops included black oats (Avena strigosa Schreb.), two crimson clover entries (Trifolium incarnatum L.); two cultivars of forage rape (Brassica napus L. var. napus), spring and winter; oil radish (Raphanus sativus var. oleiformis Pers.); three cultivars of turnip (Brassica rapa L. subsp. rapa), white lupin (Lupinus albus L.); and a mixture of black oat and lupin. Two-year conservation-tillage rotational sequences included conventionally tilled continuous corn and cotton winter fallow systems as controls. The 10 conservation tillage winter cover crop systems investigated were three continuous cotton systems that alternated a winter legume (lupin or clover), six cotton-corn systems, where lupin preceded cotton and radish, rape, or turnip preceded corn, and a cotton-corn system that had a lupin-black oat mixture as a winter cover crop every year. Use of lupin or ‘AU Robin’ clover resulted weed biomass reduction of up to 80% and 54%, respectively, in weed biomass compared to the fallow system. The highest yielding corn-cotton conservation tillage rotation with a winter cover yielded 200 lbs/acre more that the continuous cotton winter fallow system. Continuous conventional corn with winter fallow yielded 30 bu/acre less than the highest yielding 2-yr, conservation tillage winter crop system.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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