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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONSERVATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH FOR IMPROVING ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AND PRODUCER PROFITABILITY

Location: National Soil Dynamics Laboratory

Title: Impact of different cover crop residues and shank types on no-till tomato yield

Authors
item KORNECKI, TED
item Arriaga, Francisco
item Schwab, Eric
item KICHLER, COREY

Submitted to: Southern Conservation Tillage Systems Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 20, 2009
Publication Date: July 20, 2009
Citation: Kornecki, T.S., Arriaga, F.J., Schwab, E.B., Kichler, C.M. 2009. Impact of different cover crop residues and shank types on no-till tomato yield. Proceedings of the 31st Southern Conservation Tillage Systems Conference, July 22-24, 2009, East Shore, Virginia. CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: Cover crops are vital part of no-till conservation agriculture, but they must be managed appropriately not to create planting problems for producers. One technique to manage tall cover crops such as rye that produce large amounts of biomass is to roll down and crimp covers using rolling technology. In southeastern US cover crops have been mainly used in no-till field crops but recently they also are being utilized in no-till vegetable systems. A three year experiment with no-till tomatoes was conducted in Cullman, AL to determine the impact of plastic mulch (control), rye and crimson clover cover crops, and different subsoiler shanks on no–till tomato yield. In 2006 and 2008, plastic cover provided higher yield compared with rye and crimson clover in all shank treatments. In 2007, higher yield was produced following rye compared with plastic mulch and crimson clover. Across years, tomato yield after crimson clover was lower compared with rye and plastic. Percent of marketable fruit yield to total yield exceeded 80% in all treatments including the plastic control.

Technical Abstract: A three year experiment with no-till tomatoes was conducted in Cullman, AL (2006 to 2008) to determine the effect of plastic mulch (control), rye and crimson clover cover crops, and different subsoiler shanks on no–till tomato yield. In 2006 and 2008, plastic cover provided higher yield compared with rye and crimson clover in all shank treatments. In 2007, higher yield was produced following rye compared with plastic mulch and crimson clover. Across years, tomato yield after crimson clover was lower compared with rye and plastic. Percent of marketable fruit yield to total yield exceeded 80% for all treatments including the plastic control. In two of three growing seasons (2006 and 2008), tomatoes planted into plastic mulch cover produced higher total yield and number of fruit per plant. In 2007, when a severe drought occurred, tomatoes planted into rye residue (without shank) produced significantly higher total and marketable yield in comparison to the plastic mulch control and clover indicating that the rye cover crop was better for conserving soil water for tomato use. Cover crops and shank treatments did not affect percentage of marketable tomato yield compared to total tomato yield.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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