Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/5/2008
Publication Date: 10/9/2008
Citation: Mulvaney, M.J., Wood, W.C., Wood, B.H., Balkcom, K.S., Kemble, J., Shannon, D. 2008. High Biomass Cover Crops and Organic Mulch Effects on Soil Moisture and Weed Distribution during Collard Production [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting. CDROM.
Technical Abstract: Traditional organic vegetable production relies on tillage for weed suppression, but organic producers may be likely to adopt no-till if sufficient weed suppression can be achieved. A combination of high residue cover crops with in situ organic mulches may provide vegetable growers with multiple benefits, including improved weed control and soil moisture retention. The objective of this experiment is to assess organic mulches grown in situ in the field using a summer cover crop versus a no summer cover crop control in a high residue no-till collard production system. The experiment consists of a randomized complete block design with four replicates. Treatments compare forage soybean as a summer cover crop versus a no summer cover crop control with mulching treatments consisting of no mulch, mimosa prunings, straw, and S. lespedeza cuttings applied at the rate of 6.7 Mg dry matter ha-1. Data was collected on the percent ground and weed cover periodically before and after mulching using the line-transect method. Soil moisture data was recorded using TDR technology. Preliminary results will be presented from the first two years of a three year study.