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Cover Crops for Weed Management in Southern Reduced-Tillage Vegetable Cropping Systems

Price Andrew J., Norsworthy Jason. K.
Weed technology 2013 v.27 no.1 pp. 212-217
Brassicaceae, agricultural land, allelopathy, conservation practices, cover crops, crop production, cropping systems, ecosystem services, legumes, organic production, pest control, production technology, reduced tillage, research projects, small cereal grains, vegetable crops, weed control, weeds, Southeastern United States
With growing agricultural demands from both conventional and organic systems comes the need for sustainable practices to ensure long-term productivity. Implementation of reduced- or no-till practices offers a number of environmental benefits for agricultural land and maintains adequate yield for current and future production. Concerns over satisfactory pest control options, particularly weed control, have contributed to the slow adoption of conservation practices in many areas. To identify effective alternative weed management options for use in conservation systems, research in the Southeast has continued to evaluate the use of cover crops in conjunction with reduced-tillage practices. A number of cover crop species, including cereal grains, legumes, and Brassicaceae species, that have potential to suppress weeds through direct crop interference or allelopathic potential have been investigated. Many recent research projects in the Midsouth and southeastern United States have assessed the success of cover crops in reduced-tillage row crop settings with promising outcomes in some systems. However, continued research is necessary to identify appropriate cover crop and tillage systems for use in other agricultural settings, such as vegetable crops and organic production systems.