Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/2011
Publication Date: 2/26/2011
Citation: Price, A.J., Kornecki, T.S. 2011. Cover crop and organic weed control integration in tomato [abstract]. Southern Weed Science Society Annual Meeting. CDROM.
Technical Abstract: The increased adoption of conservation tillage in organic vegetable production requires more information on the role of various cover crops in weed control, tomato quality and yield. An experiment was established in autumn 2005 and 2006 at the North Alabama Horticulture Experiment Station, Cullman, AL. Plot size at both locations was 2.5 by 6 m containing a single row of tomatoes with 0.5 m spacing between plants. The three winter cover crops [cereal rye cv Elbon, crimson clover cv AU Robin and turnip (Brassica rapa L subsp. rapa cv Civastro)] were compared to black polythene mulch for their weed suppressive potential and effect on yield and grade of fresh market tomatoes. In addition, organic weed control treatments consisting on corn gluten applied PRE alone, flaming, hand weeding, or corn gluten applied PRE followed by flaming were compared. A standard herbicide regime consisting of a PRE application of S-metolachlor (1.87 kg a.i./ha) followed by an EPOST metribuzin (0.56 kg a.i./ha) application, followed by a LPOST application of clethodim (0.28 kg a.i./ha) was also included for comparison. Results indicate that early smooth pigweed, crabgrass, and yellow nutsedge were adequately control in clover, plastic and rye systems when corn gluten followed by hand weeding was utilized compared to the herbicide standard. Marketable organic yield was lowest in systems that utilized flaming and all organic systems yielded less compared to the conventional herbicide treatment in each system.