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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Summer squash planting systems following a rye cover crop)

item Shrefler, James
item Roberts, B
item Webber, Charles - Chuck
item Edelson, Jonathan
item Taylor, Merritt

Submitted to: Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2006
Publication Date: 7/1/2006
Citation: Shrefler, J.W., Roberts, B.W., Webber III, C.L., Edelson, J.V., Taylor, M. 2006. Summer squash planting systems following a rye cover crop [abstract]. HortScience. 41(4):998-999.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Commercial organic vegetable production requires using soil improvement practices and effective weed control measures. Rye (Secale cereale) cover crops are known to suppress annual weeds. Research was begun in 2004 to measure crop yield, annual weed infestation and weed control requirements for vegetable planting systems that begin with a rye cover crop. Poultry litter was used to supply nutrients and was applied based on a soil test and commercial vegetable recommendations. Rye 'Elbon' was seeded 21 October 2004 on beds with 1.8 m centers. Zucchini squash (Cucurbita pepo) 'Revenue' was planted the following year using three crop establishment dates such that transplanting occurred on 6 May, 3 June and 29 June. Planting system treatments included: conventional tillage (CT), CT and plastic mulch (P), CT with stale seedbed, mow, mow and burn-down, mow and shallow till (ST), ST and burn-down. Following field preparation, squash was transplanted in a single row at the bed center with 0.77 m plant spacing. Drip irrigation was used in all plantings. Emerging weeds were removed by hoeing. Squash was harvested from each planting over approximately three weeks and total marketable fruit counts were determined. Marketable yields with P were approximately double those of the CT and ST treatments in the 6 May transplanting. Yields were comparable for CT and ST in the 3 June transplanting but were significantly lower for the P treatment. There were no significant differences among the treatments that received tillage in the 29 June planting. However, the non-tilled treatments had significantly lower yields compared to tilled treatments.

Last Modified: 05/26/2017
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